If you’ve devised an exciting new business idea and you’re ready to sell it to potential investors, you’ll need a convincing elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is simply, a quick, clear and impactful summary of your business. It’s intended to engage prospective investors or to introduce yourself and your business during face to face networking opportunities
As implied by the name, an elevator pitch should be a short powerful statement, which you can memorise and deliver confidently, and in a short space of time. Therefore, it should either be spoken verbally in one to two minutes or if you’re sending a written pitch, it should be no longer than a paragraph in length. Here’s how to maximise your pitching time and create an elevator pitch that’s informative, interesting and most importantly, memorable…
Define who you are and what you do
Before you go into detail about the intricacies of your business plan, it’s important you remember to clearly introduce yourself. Simply describe who you are and provide a quick explanation of the services or products you’re pitching. This will give a defined structure to your elevator pitch and offers you a natural progression onto selling your new business idea.
Explain the unique selling point (USP) of your business
If you’re seeking financial investment in an ever-competitive business world, a clear USP is vital. Prospective investors will want to be convinced your business proposal offers them something different to what’s already on the market. In a maximum of two sentences, you should define how your product or your approach to your services is unique. Recognise and name your competitors and confidently explain how your new business idea adds improved value to the customer experience.
Outline your target market
Whether you’re sharing your business idea with a new networking connection or a potential investor, they’ll want to know exactly who your product is targeting. You should therefore include approximately two sentences in your elevator pitch, detailing the demographic of your target clients. Your target market will inevitably vary, depending on your business idea. You should firstly consider the type of person that could benefit most from utilising the product or services you’re offering. This will enable you to define who is most likely to purchase from your company and if appropriate, consider the age, gender and profession of your target customer.
Identify what you’re seeking from the investor or networking connection
To provide a powerful ending to your elevator pitch and achieve your desired outcome, you need to include a strong call to action. Whether your intention is to develop a valuable new business connection or to obtain financial backing, you should reiterate the reason for your pitch. In a few sentences, outline the action you would like the recipient of your pitch to take. Remember, those interested in investing in your idea will want to be assured you know your figures. Therefore, it’s essential you deliver an accurate financial forecast for your business and the future of their investment before you ask for their monetary support. If you’re just aiming to forge a new business relationship, invite the connection you’re pitching towards for a meeting over coffee. This will give you the opportunity to discuss your business idea with them in more detail and a less pressured environment.
Practice your pitch
You know what they say, practice makes perfect. This is certainly true in business, where your nerves have the potential to sabotage your expertly crafted elevator pitch. Set yourself up for success by taking the time to rehearse your pitch in front of the mirror. Here, you can recognise and alter inconsistencies in your pitch and decide how you plan to deliver your speech to potential business connections. This step should leave you feeling prepared and confident to network with and sell your new business idea to potential investors.
In addition to writing a great elevator pitch, you should remind yourself of the benefits of working for yourself and running your own business. Motivate yourself to secure that important investment by reviewing our top 10 reasons to be self-employed.