Elevator pitch. You may have heard the term before, but what exactly is it, and how can you make it work for you? The elevator pitch is a tasty titbit that can help to start a conversation, get an investor asking for your business card or better still buying into your idea. The pitch is typically a maximum of 60 seconds long. Before creating your elevator pitch, know who your audience is, and don’t overwhelm them with too much information. Whilst you may have them trapped in an elevator, you don’t want to bore them! In preparing your elevator pitch, there are seven important questions you need to answer:
1. What is the problem?
Ensure that the product or service you are offering will solve the problem of a business or be of interest to the investor you are approaching.
2. What is the solution?
What does your business offer that will solve this problem? Too many entrepreneurs start with a product or service they think will solve a problem without first identifying what the potential problem is, and whether it needs a solution. It is therefore crucial to identify the problem first before looking for a solution.
3. Who is your target market?
Now that you have the solution, identify who would be interested in it. Make sure your target market is neither too broad nor too narrow. Narrowing down your target market shows you have done your research into the market’s need that your product will satisfy, and keep your potential investor interested.
4. Who is your competition?
During this step, identify not only those who are in direct competition with you, but also the alternatives your potential customers may be using to help satisfy a need that they have.
5. Who is your team?
Highlight the skill set that is available in your team and show why your team’s combination is the foundation for a successful company. The investor needs a short summary of the strengths of your team members.
6. How do your finances work?
You only have 60 seconds, so you don’t need a detailed breakdown of how your finances will work for the next five years here. Just give a short summary of where your business’ money is coming from and what the potential expenses will be.
7. What are your milestones?
Recount some memorable milestones you have already achieved in your business so that the potential investor is aware of the dedication you have to create a great business. Get passionate, and really sell your idea! Demonstrate the steps you plan to take in your business so that a potential investor can see that you have done your homework on how to develop your business.
When you have come up with an answer to each of these questions, condense it into a couple of sentences. Be concise and don’t give too much information. Ensure that the second word is a verb which highlights the benefit you will provide to a potential customer. When you practice your pitch, simply memorise the main facts and let it roll of your tongue. You don’t need to know your pitch word for word as you may lose track of where you are, and it could be over before you’ve started. As long as you know the key points well, and have a passion for your business, you will be ready when the time comes to deliver your pitch.
Once you have delivered your pitch to a potential investor, be silent for a moment to give them a chance to speak or your pitch may lose its impact. Keep it short and powerful and the world could be your oyster.
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