You should have your business concept down so tightly and effectively that you could walk into an elevator, meet a potential investor and convey the essence of your business by the time the elevator reaches the 20th floor, about 90 seconds.
November 16, 2020
You should have your business concept down so tightly and effectively that you could walk into an elevator, meet a potential investor and convey the essence of your business by the time the elevator reaches the 20th floor, about 90 seconds. Here are the top 10 basics of a great elevator pitch, from the TCU Neeley Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
- The Problem. Open with the problem you are solving or need you are fulfilling. Tell a real story about a customer or your personal experience.
- Your Solution. Briefly describe your product/service and how it solves the problem or meets the need and what real benefits it provides.
- Market. Address the industry and describe your target market. Add customer testimonials or feedback if available.
- Competition. Competitors help investors understand the problem, existing solutions and potential size of the market. Acknowledge how others approach the problem and why your solution is better.
- Competitive Advantage. What do you have that is sustainable and hard for others to duplicate? Do you provide a special service, have a better distribution approach, boast partners that add credibility, have access to proprietary technology?
- Revenue Model. How will you make money? What are your revenue drivers and what kinds of margins can you anticipate?
- Operations. How will you produce your product or deliver your service?
- Team. Mention key advisors, financial backers or contacts. Build the credibility of our company by talking about your team’s background, experience and achievements.
- Finances. Say what you need to execute your business plan effectively and achieve the long-term vision of your company. Mention any financing you’ve raised.
- The Close. Reiterate that you are solving a problem in a specific market with a model that works and a team that can execute.
Tips to Make It Stick
- Keep it Simple. Don’t get lost in a maze of details. What is it that you really do that is important for your customer? Avoid industry or technical jargon. Speak in plain terms.
- Consider the Unexpected. You can generate interest and curiosity by posing an unusual question or presenting a stunning statistic.
- Demonstrate credibility. Investors bet on people. Tell your/your team’s background, credentials and experience to show you have the ability, confidence and know-how to succeed.
- Show Emotion. Let your interest, enthusiasm and passion show through. Be genuine and authentic. After all, this business reflects your own values.
- Tell a story. Research and data are important, but a good story explains how you got into this business, or why your product or service is important to you, or how you know what you do will benefit others.
Think you’ve got it down? Enter the Elevator Pitch Competition hosted by the TCU Neeley Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.