The PivotDesk Blog

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PivotDesk Event Q&A: What’s In a Pitch?

Soon after launching Been There, Done That, we heard from many of you that you wanted more — more coaching, more resources, and more access to the network of entrepreneurs PivotDesk has built.

So, we started to host events designed to give you just that…more!

Rather than limit the benefits of these events to attendees only, we’ll be sharing the key insights we covered live, right here on the blog.

Keep an eye out for more PivotDesk event recaps coming soon.

Breakfast Without the BS at Skillshare

A morning of raw advice that really matters when you’re in the trenches of building a business

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The art of the pitch

Q: How do you tell your story/your pitch?

D: I always advise people to first, hone in on emotion. Your goal should be to imprint a memory on your audience by appealing to their pain — their emotion, not their sense of logic.

The overarching goal of your pitch should be to imprint a memory. People make decisions based on emotion, then they use logic to justify their decisions.

You need to identify the pain your service/product addresses, then draw the connection for your audience.

Here’s the basic framework I use for crafting a pitch:

For… (target audience)

Who… (pain point)

Company Name… (solution provided)

As opposed to… (competitive company/solution/alternative)

We… (differentiation)

Once you’ve crafted this key message, the rest is practice, revision and more practice.

If you want to dive deeper into the topic of pitching, check out a blog post I wrote here.

Finding the right soulmate (or co-founder)

Q: Beyond domain expertise, what are the qualities in good partners and bad partners to look out for? Specifically a co-founder, or someone you’re looking to help grow the business to scale?

D: First, ask yourself what you suck at, then hire to cover those weaknesses. When it comes to a co-founder, the more important things to think about are:

– Do I like this person?

– Can I talk to this person?

– Do I respect this person?

– Is this a person I can argue with but leave the argument with respect and understanding regardless how that argument goes?

Every day is hard, so having someone as your partner is a really important aspect in not feeling alone. It is similar to a marriage, (and just as hard to dissolve).

Focus on right now. Don’t hire a VP of Marketing before you need one, don’t hire a VP of Sales until you’ve sold and understand what that sale looks like. Don’t hire a full time VP of Finance if you can get by with a part-time bookkeeper. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Then use specific objectives to measure the hires that you do make. It’s a conversation. An honest, specific, and clear conversation so you both understand the goals you have set.

Prioritization

Q: To the point of knowing your priorities and knowing what you’re good at — how do you prioritize tasks in the early stages of the business?

D: It’s always a case of ‘The chicken or the egg?’ Assume that your business can always be better. There will always be small chances to improve your product that may not happen if they aren’t at the top of the priority list. For example, with PivotDesk, you can’t share a host posting on social media through our product. You have to copy and paste the URL to share on social. It’s crazy, we’re 4 years in and this is not a feature! Adding this feature has been low on the priority list because there are other projects that will produce a higher return. Just because you can add a feature to your product, does not mean it is the best use of your team’s time or resources.

You need to ask yourself, ‘what do I absolutely have to accomplish in the next 3 months?’ and work backward from there. People think companies always trend up and to the right but the reality is that you will plateau, and when you do, make sure you understand why. It is important to have a deep understanding of your business so you can confidently align your priorities.

Accelerator programs

Q: How critical was Techstars to PivotDesk’s success?

D: I would like to think I could have done this without Techstars, but in all honesty, I accomplished more in 3 months through Techstars than I would have on my own in a year. While it may usually take a week or even a month to connect with great mentors and gather new information, with this program you have access right at your fingertips. You will be introduced to people to whom you would normally have to fight to get introductions. These connections and relationships will be crucial in building your business in the early stages and beyond. If I were to ever start another business, I would apply to Techstars all over again.

Want to attend a Breakfast Without the BS event live with David? If you’re in the NYC area click here to request a spot at our next event.

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