Making the Pitch: How Research Can Build Credibility

Last Updated: April 19, 2017

You’ve got “THE” business idea that you’re convinced will be a success. But how can you convince your audience? With research!

Prove You Know the Competition

A good starting point is identifying your competition within your industry. Do thorough research to find out what makes you different from the competition, and use that difference to explain why customers will buy from you. For example, if you think locality makes you stand out, why does that matter to your customers? What data suggests that this is an asset in comparison to your competition?

You can use free business directories to help discover your industry competitors. Canadian Companies Capabilities, ThomasNet, and Frasers are few directories that will let you search for businesses by products and services. When you find your competition, explore their individual websites to analyze their business model.

Don’t forget the power of social media! If your competition is active in their social media networks, take a look at their profiles to get a better idea of who they are. Hootsuite has shared a how-to post for using social media for competitive analysis.

Prove You Know Your Business Model

While analyzing the competition, think of your own business strategies—including pricing strategies. You want to prove to judges that you not only have a great product or service but that you also have a great business model to ensure it succeeds. Think globally when looking to discover what works for other small businesses and why. As a small business you may not be one of the big business names, but the way you sell your product or service will differentiate you.

Question Your Assumptions

Now you’ve collected data and used great references, maybe you have created brilliant infographics, but always remember to take a step back and analyze your progress. It is all too easy to get swept up in the big picture. Remember to frame your pitch with data that is relevant and tells the story for your specific industry. Use your research skills to help you develop a “just-right” pitch but always question your assumptions and ask “why?” And if research has your head spinning, make the process simple and start with one of our industry guides!

Ready to Make the Pitch?

Join one of these upcoming BC events:

  • Fundica Roadshow | Vancouver | April 28th
    Pitching applications are over, but tickets for the event are on sale until April 28th—and we'll be there!
    Get your tickets here!
  • Fundica Roadshow | Victoria | May 2nd
  • Ignite Capital | Toronto | June
    For women, youth, immigrant, and aboriginal entrepreneurs.
  • UBC Changemakers | Vancouver | Varies
    Look at the Connect to Community Grant, Chapman & Innovation Grants, Global Fund, and Greenest City Neighbourhood Small Grants.
  • VANTEC Pitch Circuit | Vancouver | Monthly
    For tech entrepreneurs.

Want More Pitching Competitions?

Scout out some past events in our blog post
Bonus: Check out these TED Talks tips to make your presentation a success!

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