Harvard MBA B-Plan Judge Tips

I occasionally blog on the murky world of business plans for two main reasons. I often get paid to help write them so have live exposure to their vagaries and I think many a pitch or proposal (especially a brand new product one) can benefit from lessons learned in this style of ultimate ‘sell’.


So I could hardly contain myself recently when I happened across the insight of David Ronick. Here’s a chap that gets to vote on business plans as submitted by Harvard MBA students. Here’s his opener;

Ironically, some of the best business ideas in this year’s competition rated poorly with the judges because they simply weren’t pitched well.

Ouch. Thankfully, what follows in this Inc.com magazine piece are five things you must do, and five that you must not.

There’s some great one-line nuggets. Here’s just four:

The best pitches started and ended with the same 30-second, crystal clear explanation

The best way to convince … is to show that you’re already getting results

the best teams had clearly been out in the field, talking with and listening to customers

“We interviewed 50 customers and they said…” carries much more weight than “A study showed…”

Overall there’s plenty of ideas for personal pitch refinement that could well flow for you from the ten pointers.

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