Who Are You Serving,
and Why Now?
To quote Jeff Jones, a serial investor and venture tech builder, ‘start-ups don’t die of starvation; they drown in opportunities.’ And, from having matched dozens of start-ups with VCs and angel investors, we can easily say that no truer words have ever been spoken.
The passion for what you have built must shine through during your pitch – that is a given. But, how about your customer base and the timing of your solution/product?
It is very easy to get lost, effectively, in describing your product or solution, the strength of your team, how much you bootstrapped to get to where you are, and how you stand out compared with your competitors.
What start-ups often overlook is the importance of being absolutely clear on who their customers are, and on the timing of that which they are seeking funding for. Let us start with who you serve, i.e., who your prospective clients/customers are or can be.
If you came up with a solution to a problem – and by this we mean a solution to a problem that currently exists on the market you seek to serve, not a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist yet – ask yourself this question: who are you serving? Who is going to use your solution?
If your answer is, for instance, multi-national corporations operating in the digital space, that is not enough; nowhere near enough. The investors you pitch to need to be satisfied that you have really done your market research (as in ‘homework’), and you can clearly spell out that Corporation X is very likely to use your solution because of the multitude of problems they are currently facing in relation to Y (where ‘Y’ is the exact sweet spot where your solution fits in).
The same thinking should apply if you are developing a product. ‘Who are you serving?’ is a very straightforward question which requires a similarly straightforward answer. For instance, if you created a new hand cream, who is going to use it? Is this hand cream ‘skin problems’ friendly, or is it just a hand cream like the hundreds of others out there? Or is it going to be a perfect fit for those who work in harsh environments or with skin-harmful substances? Or is it going to be used by salons that offer manicures due to its intensive hydration properties? Then, to be even more specific, which types of salons – high-end or regular ones? Located where?
‘Why now?’ is all about your ability to show investors that you have chosen the right moment to launch your product/solution, and that your arrival on the market is neither too early, nor too late; it’s just perfect!
While you might be tempted to talk only about now, don’t. To speak about now you need to be able to foresee the demand for your solution/product in the immediate future. For example, it is common knowledge that the greatest majority of car microchips are manufactured in China. Over the past year, largely due to production shortages brought on by the Covid pandemic, there has been a significant shortfall in the availability of these microchips entering the European market.
Knowing what demand for your product is on the market now, while providing a clear foresight analysis of the demand of your product in future and how your product might contribute to a reduction in, let’s say, export fees or supply chain costs etc., would prove to potential investors not only that you know what you are talking about but, also, that you have thought about tomorrow, not only today. Short-sightedness and start-up investment attraction never go hand in hand.
If you are unsure where you stand right now, or if you seek clarity on your path to scale or go-to-market, perhaps you need to consider joining our start-up Business Configurator because, in a world where most investors’ attention span is no longer than three seconds (trust us on this!!!), you do need to stand out, don’t you?
We can offer you clear and tangible solutions to all these pinch points and more. And, as a plus, we are solely dedicated to sustainable start-ups. We can help you configure your start-up for both profit and purpose and, after 12 weeks of intensive business coaching, mentoring, dry-pitching, and networking with industry experts, angel investors, venture capitalists and other start-ups in our community, you will see the real difference we can make to your business: we optimise it to be investment-ready.
Join our Configurator to develop your product/service and be confident about what it can deliver to your customer base. Apply now