A business plan competition is aptly named, but business plans can?t implement themselves. The hopeful entrepreneur behind the business plan is responsible for making sure it gets off the ground.
When it comes to pitching business plans on a reality show, contestants often fail to win for a few reasons:
Their idea doesn?t resonate with the judges
They can?t pitch or write well
They stumble over the assumptions behind their financial projections
Those reasons, however, are irrelevant to what matters. What matters is the person behind the pitch. Unfortunately, contestants and judges focus too much on the product. They get enamored with technology and dollars. Both are sexy and addictive, and both are some of the strongest subconscious motivators known to humans. But people have to come first.
So how can we make pitch competitions more human? Judges should base their decision on whether the hopeful entrepreneur understands how to invest in understanding people — customers and staff — and in building authentic relationships with them. Taking the focus off of people means that the business won?t be able to meet the needs of their customers and staff, or worse, they?ll be treated like numbers. This may work in the short run, but in the long run this can result in loyalty issues.
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