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Foundation: What Makes You Qualified?

Scenario: You are a new entrepreneur and you go in to pitch an investor or a potential client – your pitch goes really well. You hear…

Client/Investor: Hmmm…good stuff. We like it. But who the heck are you? Why should we buy (or invest) in you?

This is the point where you think – I’m the guy who brought you the idea. But then they go on and say…

Client/Investor: We had two other guys in here before you that pitched us the same thing – so why are you different and why should we do business with you?

Ouch! Yep, that hurts…particularly if you haven’t properly established a strong foundation. If you have you’ll be ready to list off the reasons why you are the guy to make this happen – if you haven’t, you’ll walk out of that meeting with your tail between your legs.

Establishing your Foundation

We’re going to cover this in multiple posts but here are some of the highlights of areas you need to beef up before going into a meeting like the one above:

Background/Area of Expertise: What is your background and therefore, your area of expertise? Your background will directly help justify your qualifications or completely throw them off. If you are a male with no kids who has been in the meat packaging business for the last 10 years and you want to get into running a kid’s social network with an entirely new spin – your background is of no help to you and you are obviously not leveraging your area of expertise…so this actually hurts you. (Thinking it actually throws a few red flags in the air…but I digress) You’ll need to work on establishing a relevant background.

Knowledge: Much like your background – your proven knowledge base is critical. By proven, I mean you’ve had active involvement that has demonstrated success base on applying your knowledge.

Contacts and Network: This is extremely important – you better build up one heck of an armory of powerful contacts – the old saying that “it’s not what you know but who you know” will eventually come into play!

Familiarity with Market: This goes beyond having knowledge about your market or being part of your market’s background – this is embedding your presence in your market and making allies within your target market. This is becoming a go-to person to folks in your market.

Like I said – we’ll thoroughly discuss building a foundation because you might find out that before you even get into starting your startup, you have to first ensure you’re qualified to do so!

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