Tag Archives: Solve

How Do You Improve Your Company Presentation? Four Points

Situation: The CEO of a specialty company that is a leader in their market asked the group to review the company presentation. The members of the group were asked to put themselves in the place of a potential customer or investor. How do you improve your company presentation?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Don’t assume that the audience has a sophisticated understanding either of the company’s market or its technology. In any pitch either to a new prospect or for funding there will be individuals in the audience who are not experts. The pitch needs to deliver a message that any listener can easily translate to any colleague.
    • Give brief examples from the experience of current customers to make the technology and its advantages concrete.
  • What is the problem that the company solves?
    • State up front: What is the pain – why is it there? How does the company’s solution address this pain? What’s the impact?
    • Show market potential and explain why the company’s solution will be a home run.
    • What makes the company’s solution unique and gives it a sustainable advantage?
    • Assume Ignorance – KISS – Keep It Simple Silly!
    • The presentation should be high level, easy to understand, and crystal clear in 5 minutes.
  • Establish credibility by summarizing current success and list the names of current customers.
  • For presentations to investors have ready answers for the following questions:
    • How the funding sought accelerate development, and what is the expected return that this will produce?
    • Assure that timelines are realistic, particularly for a ground-breaking technology.
    • Do not be vague in answers to questions like “what is your market share?” Answers must be crisp and believable. If additional documentation is required to validate company estimates have a back-up slide in the presentation to address this. Keep the explanation in the back-up slide simple, even if the analysis is complex.
    • Add an expectation of return on investment. What equity will the company give for an investment of $X. State the company’s pre-money valuation as a believable number. Then give an estimated 3-year post money valuation with $X investment. Investors will discount anything number given but will not want a range.

How Do You Create Consistency in a Business? Six Suggestions

Situation: A CEO feels like he is on a roller coaster ride with unpredictable revenue and processes month to month. His ideal outcome will be to be able to go on vacation for 4-6 weeks, and have the business running better when he returns than when he left. Have you managed to achieve this? How do you create consistency in a business?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Make your managers live up to their titles.
    • Insist that they go to each other to solve problems first, instead of always asking you.
    • When they ask a question, answer how to solve it – but don’t give them the solution.
    • Require them to present solutions rather than problems.
    • Be willing to spend money on their solutions.
  • Answer all questions with questions.
    • Ask them for their recommendation.
    • Keep asking until they come up with the answer.
  • You should not be doing jobs or tasks that are really your employees’ responsibilities.
  • When you start to delegate, it hurts for a while but it will work itself out.
  • What has been the impact on other companies when they’ve made these changes?
    • Businesses have become more diversified.
    • CEOs are focused strategically vs. tactically.
    • Businesses are more successful and profitable.
    • CEOs enjoy coming to work again.
  • How do you work with younger workers, millennials?
    • Allow flexibility – where appropriate – on hours and how they do their jobs.
    • Responsibility will vary by pay level – with the understanding that higher pay equals more responsibility and most likely longer hours.

How Do You Respond to a Regulatory Wild Card? Seven Suggestions

Situation: A company that has been in business for several generations has been approached by a government official with an unexpected regulatory requirement and a stringent timeline for compliance. This was completely unexpected and it will be disruptive to comply. How do you respond to a regulatory wild card?

  • Approach the agency and negotiate an extension of the deadline, or a series of steps that will bring you into compliance but under conditions so that compliance does not disrupt your business and workload.
  • Dig to determine the ultimate reason behind this development. Is it a neighborhood evolution issue where new neighbors want you or your business out of the way? If so, is there a win-win alternative that gives you a new or better location in exchange for moving.
  • Seek legal assistance – local lawyers may be knowledgeable of the officials involved or their superiors, and will know the language to use to ask for the leeway that you require.
  • Circle the problem from every angle – look for other city contacts that can assist.
  • Trade a tax concession for compliance – particularly if the issue is a long-standing situation that has just now been brought forward.
  • Look for a way to turn the problem into an opportunity by solving the problem uniquely in a way that favors you.
  • Consider asking them to help solve the problem.
  • Do NOT respond with an attack. Local officials can be in place for a long time and may hold a grudge.