Dragons Den: The day we pitch our businesses to the jurors at MACE.
As I remain calm and collected, I write down the key notes on my phone on the way to Kingston University. Fortunately, we were asked to submit a thorough business report the day before. So I already had most of the information I needed to present and it was only a matter of creating a 6 minute pitch.
I deliberately planned on arriving early so that I can find a quiet spot to practice my pitch. I have been working on a new product (incorporating a high-tech feature) and I have spoken about it to a few of my customers and they were really excited about it.
The day of the presentation was the same day the COVID-19 started spreading in the UK but it was prior to the official lockdown.
Most of us were in the hall practicing our presentations and some of us showed up without our prototypes as some shipments that have arrived from China were held in quarantine (or so I’ve heard). I personally showed up with a minimum viable product (MVP). A leather prototype I made by hand.
The presentation was to include the following points:
- Elevator Pitch
- The need or Problem addressed, and the target group
- The product/Service
- Alternatives and Competitors
- Market Entry
I did not win the competition, but one of the jurors pulled me aside and said that it’s fascinating that you’ve sold this much for this price but you need to work on your numbers. He said “had you partnered up with someone who is to manage the financial aspect and you focus on being a designer and an entrepreneur, I would have invested in you.” He advised me to work on a sales projection plan and said I could email him and ask for his help. I have, and here is what he advised:
1. Estimate how many products you are doing to sell in the next 12 months and based on that create a 12 month budget and set up a year-end for my product company. In this case it will be 1st of March 2021
2. Decide on your marketing strategy as this will need to be included in the budget.
3. Include all expenses from office rent, to bills and launching expenses.
4. Create two separate segments/ two projection plans. One for the sales of your product line and one for the sales on your commerce shop in general (inclusive of other brands).
5. Do the same for the following two years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023.
This is the advice that Fazl E Hasnain has kindly given me and said he would be happy to review it once I am done working on it. He also said “It is difficult to establish the brand but it is easy to lost the brand name if you don’t do things correctly”.