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By Immaculate Tulimeke Paulus

Pitching is a great idea that could either get your business off the ground or even worse sink it.

Most if not all new entrepreneurs have great ideas that will help change the world for themselves and others, hypothetically speaking  99% of them do not know how to get legitimate business funding. This will then leave their ideas to never develop into prosperous projects.

Everything matters! Selling your ideas to strangers may be hard but, how you sell it matters. Here are some tips to pitch your business idea effectively.

Turn your idea into a story.

Storytelling is the best way to get your potential investors/ audiences listening. It is scientifically proven that it is the best method to capture the audience’s attention and help them remember what you say. It makes a pitch unforgettable. It gives investors all the information you think they want, and the funding will follow.

Have a simple yet incisive pitch.

Presentation is an important aspect of pitching to investors, and most entrepreneurs go wrong while presenting their pitches. The main purpose of the pitch is to exhibit the business objectives, impact on the society and of course to see how funding will help expand the business. Hence, it is recommended to use a simple language while doing the pitch. Keep it concise, simple and straight to the point.

Be courageous

To effectively pitch your unique ideas to investors, you need to highlight every part of your business that hasn’t been discussed yet. You need to assure the investors about how funding is going to shake up the industry and convince them how it’s going to help achieve your goals. “Be fearless in the pursuit that sets your soul on fire.”-Unknown.

When asked this simple question, local musicians Snazzy simply said, “The music industry is a business industry”.

If one were to take a moment and think about most musicians, one would realise that local and international musicians often have a brand and a product that they are marketing to generate revenue.

The skills and knowhow needed to make a successful living as a musician are synonymous to those of an entrepreneur. To create something of commercial value one needs to answer these questions:

  • How will you make a profit?
  • Who will form the majority of your consumer base?
  • On what platform will you stay connected to your consumer base?
  • What makes you and your brand unique?

Once they have considered these questions, many musicians venture out to market their brands to increase sales and expand their fan base in order to have more than one source of income.

Musicians across the board are involved in additional entrepreneurial activities such as starting or representing clothing labels and fragrance lines, and producing music. Some even venture out and start their own record labels.

Furthermore, rising musicians who thrive in today’s economy are those who are innovative enough to address the ever-changing industry. A decade ago the primary concern for a musician was CD sales and booking shows. However, today musicians are forced to learn to promote, market, and manage their brands.

As such we need to realize that even though a musician may not be involved in extra income generating activities, being a musician is being an entrepreneur.

By Alice Indongo (Freelance Writer) 

It’s painful watching a good business venture closing down after only a year in operation. Research has shown that over 90% of all startups fail.

There are various reasons why startups fail. The following are shared across all startups regardless of all industries:

  1. Incompetence

Entrepreneurs may know their product, but many fail to under the mechanics of a business. Few entrepreneurs make the effort to develop their business acumen. A deficiency that leaves them unable to adapt to sudden political, social, environmental and legal damages that affect their business.

  1. Lack of experience

Although they have winning product, many first time CEOs lack the experience in the industry they are entering. This lack of experience translates into poor supply chain management, hiring of inadequate staff and poor economic decisions.

  1. Personal problems foundation of startup

Some entrepreneurs enter business due to pressures in their personal lives. Instead of being driven by passion, they are driven by pressure. Pressure stemming from expanding families and unrealistic social expectations.

People don’t intentionally work only to have their hard work be closed down after twelve months of operation. In the same way failing startups are similar, the successful 10% also share character marks that have made them immune to failure.

Listed below are some characteristics that can indicate a startup that may last in the long run.

  1. The product matters

Many startups fail because the product or service is not wanted or needed in the market. Market research is crucial to developing a product that fills a needs gap. Products cannot be contingent on the likes of the entrepreneurs, but on the likes of the customer.

  1. Nothing goes unnoticed

The staff of successful startups know that different parts make a whole. And like a well-oiled machine, one part needs the other to function at 100%. In business a startup cannot afford to be segmented. Marketing needs to know what Finance is doing; Finance needs to know the running’s of HR. This will allow issues to be spotted before they cause harm to the entire organization.

  1. Geared for growth

Entrepreneurs should think long term: what happens once they successfully enter the market? Growth should always be kept in mind when making major decisions as growth attracts investors. Startups should not settle for slow growth as that will soon mean no growth. A company that is not growing is failing.

By Ros Limbo (Freelance Writer)

The truth is that the amount of new businesses that fail exceed the number that succeed. That’s why it’s more important than ever to create a unique product or service that helps you stand out from the rest. 

Here are some reasons why small business fail. You should remember that there are so many ways to fail, but there are just as many ways to succeed.

1. No market for your products or services
2. Are outcompeted
3. Poor financial management
4. Ignoring the customers or failing to listen to them
5. Lack training and education
6. Failure to market online
7. Failure to adapt when the market changes
8. Poor choice of business location and business choice
9. Lack Capital or Financial assistance
10. Poor business model/business plan

If you are a small business, look at how you can tackle these problems. We encourage you to attend necessary training and education on how to draft documents such as a business proposal or take a course on financial literacy. It might just help you save your business.

By Launch Namibia

“Your brand is what people say about you after you leave the room” — Jeff Bezos, Amazon

Most startups during the early stages of their development make the huge mistake of ignoring the importance of branding. Many entrepreneurs tend to obsess on the product, and rightly so. But what is also important is researching and defining their target customer, and then creating a brand identity that will focus on the product’s benefits for them, before just pushing it into the marketplace.

You can think about a brand in the way you think about a person. Just like a person, a brand has its own identity, voice, values personality, beliefs, story, character, attitude, and soul.

What is the importance of branding for your startup?

One of the main importance of branding for startups is that it helps the new organization establish its own identity. As stated earlier, the brand is not just the company’s logo, it involves much more than the name or design. It is the whole personality of the organization. That’s why it is important for the company to choose and promote a brand that represents their business methods and core values. Having a clear vision will ensure the success of the startup in the long run. By stating its goal right from the start, it is much easier to follow through on the plans.

What can branding do to motivate customers? Marketing is all about ultimately influencing the behaviour of customers. They will be far more inspired by a brand that offers relevant content with an emotional promise and has an appealing personality, effectively communicated in marketing and sales. To grab the attention of the average consumer, a new company has to challenge itself to devise a unique marketing campaign. The more so if you are targeting today’s millennials, who are not as responsive to normal advertising, but want to be engaged. Without customers, of course, the business cannot succeed, that is why it is important to have a brand which will inspire loyalty and promote engagement with the customer.

Startup marketing and branding also helps a startup set itself apart from the competition. A great brand name can be a solid competitive advantage for your company, especially when feature sets between two or more brands are roughly the same.

Formulating a brand identity requires that a new company conduct research into their customer base and the surrounding market. This in turn helps companies articulate what it is that makes them unique, and what particular gaps they are filling in their respective markets. The ability to then effectively sell their unique contribution can bring in a variety of new customers who are looking for the specific product or service offered by the startup.

Establishing a brand ensures your customers that you are here to stay. What do you think when you log in into your Facebook account or use Google? That they are companies that are shutting down tomorrow or next week? Of course not, that is because they have established a brand and clearly marketed an identity that serves as an assurance to customers that the companies will be in business for a long time. By developing a strong startup branding, the company demonstrates that it is ready for the long haul. It shows that the company intends to be one of the recognizable and reliable businesses in the industry.

Startup branding is the initial introduction of what your company can provide to investors and customers. A carefully crafted branding strategy can go a long way in etching a solid identity for a new venture and can define its success. When done right, the company will experience success.

Have I left something important out? What are your thoughts on this? Leave a comment in the section below.

Planning on starting a new business but don’t know where to start? Follow these tips to help you start a business tailored for you.
1. Ask yourself, what are you truly passionate about? Start by thinking about what you want to wake up doing every day.
2. Think outside the box, come up with a business idea and test it with the market. Ensure that there is a demand and establish your target market from the beginning.
3. When starting your business, know your strengths and weaknesses. Be the boss in the area that you’re good at and hire someone to help you in the area that you’re weak in.
4. Have faith in yourself; follow your dreams with all you’ve got. The world is a place of endless possibilities. You may not know where you’re headed, just give it all you’ve got.

Written by Launch Magazine