Our small business pitch today is Marlon Braccia, founder of Kaf-Faux.
A nice side effect of running this small food business pitch is seeing great food entrepreneurs take their idea and turn it into a viable product that gets on the shelf. I also am learning about a whole range of ethnic and artisan foods.
Read the Kaf-Faux Business Pitch and add your comments here about what you like and how you would give Marlon some tips on improving her pitch.
My single largest issue is: What is it? It needs to be clear from the onset. It sounds like coffee yet when I read Kaf-faux's ingenious formula supplies your body and brain with powerful nutrients... it sounds like a functional beverage. Any pitch whether to investors or banks should be very clear. When pitching the retail buyer, remember they have to discontinue something already on the shelf to make room for new items. There is a degree of risk in removing a known for an unknown.
It is well written as a narrative. However it also very aspirational which is fine but not for a business pitch. A pitch must address "why do I need this" both for the retail buyer and then for the actual consumer.
This pitch would greatly benefit from starting from scratch... not throwing everything out... but taking the most compelling components and reworking it and insuring that each question is clearly addressed. Additionally it should be one page otherwise it contains too much information.
So here are my comments and suggestions for a new pitch that you can use on your path from kitchen to the shelf... to the consumers plate. Hopefully Marlon will follow-up with me and we can see the transformed Kaf-Faux Business Pitch.
This needs to address What the business is, What it sells, How it Works.
What is the Customer Problem You Solve?
This should be no more than several sentences otherwise most people reading this or listening will... well, just stop! What specifically are customers desiring that you can provide that they can't easily get elsewhere? Have you considered doing some social media listening to see what people are talking about? For example why not use your email list from your cookbook and Yoga businesses? You can easily create an email with a series of questions to find out what consumers really want. Large brands like Krispy Kreme have an eClub and use the 400,000 subscribers to help them develop new items and feedback that helps Krispy Kreme determine the best new product launch strategy.
How Will You Make Money?
Starbucks, Pete's Coffee and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf have near market saturation of coffee drinkers. So the only patron's they've yet to capture are people who don't drink tea or coffee!
Be careful about making claims and this case the market saturation claim and if this is true, make sure you have data to support this. Also, do we know that the major coffee houses are attempting to sell to the segment of non coffee drinkers? We clearly see that Starbucks and Dunkin are seeking to grab more share of stomach through launching new food products, expanding beverage selections and getting you to buy more frequently... evidenced by Starbucks Treat Receipt program. I suggest you take this out.
What Are Your Products/services
All of these could have potential but it is not feasible to launch four as a startup so decide on the "one" that you feel is most likely to gain acceptance from retailers or QSR operators.
Where Will You Sell Your Product?
Again, too many so consider either Retail or Foodservice but not both.
A retailer needs to see that you can show them they need this and they don't have a product like yours. This shows a unique positioning that gives them a reason to give you space on the shelf or a spot on a coffee house menu.
Why Should the Retailer Buyer Give You Shelf Space?
Consider using the 5 R's, The Right Product, Right Place, Right Time, Right Price, Right Amount. Do this exercise several times. Why? Buyers and Merchandisers uses this in their decision making process.