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Sunflowers and Startups – the Similarities!


Pitching Skill Workshop:

Coaching for Business Startups

This morning I sat in my creative chair, hoping that a topic for my next article would emerge. While writing my morning pages, I looked around my office, realizing the subject matter was right under my nose.

I have a renewed interest in my garden as a result of the pandemic.

I have seeds at various stages of growth. Some I have just planted [this weekend]; others are in the soil for two to three weeks and start to break through, seeking light and heat from the sun. My sunflower plants will be moved outdoors in the next few days to harden off and acclimatize to the outside world. They are brought in each evening to avoid the cold or possible frost which would kill them off and all my careful minding would have come to naught.

Is the above not a metaphor for what the startup support organizations I partner with do each day?

Let me explain how I help startups and the organizations that support startups.

My coaching is ideally delivered in two to four sessions.

Session 1:

Create your Business Story

Work with entrepreneurs to clarify the problem they solve and create a story that explains the problem/business opportunity.

A good presenter can engage a prospective customer or investor in the first 30 to 60 seconds.

Session 2:

Create your Sales Presentation

A conversation you will have with prospective customers, be it an email, a phone or conference call, or in person.

After confirmation that the problem you solve is a problem the potential customer experience regularly, you can now talk about your solution and the benefit to the listener.

Session 3:

Create your Investor Pitch

This is the eagerly awaited session where we turn the sales pitch into an investor pitch.

Having created a winning sales pitch, we now add the additional content to the deck that an investor will need to know. e.g. Market size and how you will sell into this market.

Timeline, progress to date and your immediate plans for the future.

Sales forecast, your best estimate with evidence.


What do you want and why?

(If someone asked you for money, your first question would be, what do you want it for?)

When asking for money, you must be prepared to answer this question.

You do not have to ask for money immediately. Why not look to build a relationship that initially leads to support and investment later?

Often this final step may take a couple of sessions as what we’re doing here is converting a business plan or ‘lean canvas’ template into a vibrant, engaging story.

Best presentation tip ever!

How your story must end:

Finish with a few lines or a slide that paints a picture of how your customer is better because of your intervention.

People buy things that make them BETTER; can you articulate you’re BETTER and win sales/investment?


Very few, be they enterprise organizations or startups, can briefly articulate their benefits to potential customers without advice from an expert like myself.

Click here for a free 15 min chat.