Because business consultants have insight into fundraising trends, startup’s competition and startup’s target market environment, they are valuable assets that founders can use to polish their pitch and a teaser.
Answer by Dragana Mendel:
I support your decision to seek outside help to develop an investor’s pitch for your startup. I am sure that you have a high sense of self awareness as you are not afraid to admit your weak spots (we all have them), so that’s the reason to ask for help. Your investors will appreciate tremendously your honest communication and willingness to admit that you cannot accomplish everything internally, that outside help is needed along the way of building a company. Most startup founders have hard time saying that there is something they cannot do.
Crafting a pitch I see as a fairly simple transaction between you and a consultant. The price tag will depend on their hourly fee (or a project fee) and complexity of a project. You can outsource pitch to:
- Business or management consultant. This person has seen a number of good (and a ton of bad) pitches and can help you hone on your value proposition, elevator pitch, go-to-market-strategy, ROI in an effective document formatted in the style that investors are conditioned to see. Use a business consultant as a sounding board, if you already have a bulk of your pitch done, and let them be editor in chief.They will help you be realistic in your claims for client acquisition, market penetration, fundraising needs per each stage of technical development. They can check or develop financial projections and benchmark your performance against competition. Their time involvement depends on how many holes they find in your pitch deck that is a reflection of the business model and business plan. They will also tell you if you are ready to go public and start fundraising; if not, they can give you an action plan to make you fundraising ready. If your product is B2C, you can also benefit from branding consultant overlooking the pitch development to ensure consistent messaging.
- Ghost writer, editor. If you have your pitch clearly defined in your head, your business model is sound, all pieces of a business plan fall into a place neatly, but you simply don’t like writing, then a ghost writer can be your ideal choice. SIt down with a writer, do a brain dump and they will put your thoughts on paper in nicely readable language.
- Graphic designer. If you don’t have anyone on the team with graphic design skills, I would highly recommend spending little money on a designer to make your pitch pop visually and look professional and not like just another built-in power point template. This will reflect really well on you as everyone recognizes professionally done publication which means you take pride in your work and want to present yourself in the best light possible. Details matter. Just make sure you have editing capabilities to use this visual template over and over again as you tweak the pitch for different target audience. Don’t get locked into running to a graphic designer each time you change few words.
I would look to hire these consultants in your local entrepreneurial community first, then on LinkedIn. If you need simper simple project, then you can look for outsourcing web sites like eLance or oDesk. Good luck!
Chose one out of three consulting packages:
- Seed: $295. Feedback, 45+ point scorecard
- Series A: $595. Seed + SWOT
- Series B: $895. Series A + 1-1 in-depth consultation
Dragana Mendel, a management consultant for startups, small and medium size businesses develops and executes growth strategies for her clients.