One of the big challenges co-operatives have in their developing stages is selling the idea of their business to partners, funders, and the public. It is important to create a business plan that outlines the various components of your business’s operations, but it is critical to get people excited about your product. This may sound like an intimidating prospect, but it can be a fun way for a co-operative’s leadership to refine the concept of their business in a meaningful, engaging way.
If you’re familiar with the television show Dragon’s Den, then you’ve seen many aspiring entrepreneurs perform business pitches to potential investors. Many business associations and entrepreneur training forums host these exercises as a fun and engaging way to talk about their businesses and build the skills and confidence to make pitches.
Many entrepreneurs will refer to this as an “elevator pitch” because you should be able to make the pitch in the time it takes to ride an elevator with a colleague. Time and precision are important factors, so here are some important things to consider when developing your business pitch:
Set up your own Dragon’s Den (or a more realistic version). Gather some of the co-operative’s leadership and assign roles for individuals to embody as you take turns providing a pitch about your business. Some roles may include a customer, a shareholder, a potential investor, or a financial institution. Give your pitch in three minutes then switch roles with someone. Record what worked and what didn’t work to build a perfect pitch for your co-operative.