Claire Gavin, head of private brands and innovation at Pets at Home, shares 10 tips for how small business owners can successfully pitch products to retail buyers.

Enterprise Nation members have an exclusive opportunity to pitch products to Pets at Home on 16 February 2018. Apply here by 9 February.

Knowledge and passion: Make sure you know you product and your customer inside out and excite us so we feel the same.

Differentiation: Ensure you understand the unique selling points of your product, what sets it apart from others, why customers would want it and why Pets at Home should stock it.

Know who you're pitching to: Visit Pets at Home stores before you pitch to demonstrate your understanding of the existing range, price structure, space, customer and how your product can add a different and credible dimension.

Competitor landscape: Understand your competition and be prepared to talk about what gives your product a competitive advantage verses long established existing products.

Commerciality: Try to ensure your product is commercially viable by researching costs and volume potential or sharing sales successes to date.

Bring it to life: Prepare a mock up (ideally a full prototype) props and visuals. They don't have to cost very much but can make all the difference to us sharing your vision.

Marketing know-how: How will your product or brand have a voice? Understand the marketing levers available to support sales and have a clear plan to drive awareness

Be creative! Products conceived because you've needed to find a solution for something the market can't satisfy are very often winners. Share the journey you've travelled.

Be confident: Don't be too scared to ask for feedback, help or advice.

Preparation, preparation, preparation! Practice your pitch, believe in your product and deliver it with confidence.

Enterprise Nation members have an exclusive opportunity to pitch products to Pets at Home on 16 February 2018. Apply here by 9 February.

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