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Pitch Slide 9: Competition

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I’ve heard an audible sigh go around a room of investors when the competition slide is presented. No wonder. Done wrong, it can break an investment. In fact, after finance and team, it’s the most important slide for investors.

First of all, make sure you understand the definition of competition and then set about presenting your competition in one of three ways: The Quadrant Diagram, Venn Diagram and, my favourite, the table.

Here’s a typical quadrant diagram and there are some conventions. The most obvious is that you always appear here – top right. Ahead of everyone else. So, choose the two axes well.

Here’s an example of the Venn Diagram which provides you with three dimensions. There will only be one logo in the middle – that’s you because you are the only one that can solve all the customers’ problems unlike your competition.

The Table allows you a large number of dimensions or where you can excel. List yourself first, then your three or four nearest competitors.

Your credibility depends on who you choose as competitors and how you articulate it. Miss an obvious competitor and the investor will think you really don’t understand your customers. Have too many, and the investor will think the market is too crowded for you to make an impact.

It’s a delicate balance. Be honest and choose your competition wisely.

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