You may have an excellent idea for a business that you believe can make you and your investors rich. There is only one problem - you are struggling to find anyone who will invest in your business.
You have a solid business plan, the determination to succeed and your sales forecast looks very attractive. So why can’t you find any investors? The problem lies in your pitch.
What is an Elevator Pitch?
To put it simply, an elevator pitch is a 30-60 description of what your business does and why someone should invest in it. With the rise of social media websites such as Twitter, where you have to get your point across in 140 characters or less, finding a way to make a powerful first impression in as little words as possible is an invaluable skill to possess.
However, remember that an elevator pitch is not designed to take the place of a solid business plan. An elevator pitch is simply aimed at capturing the attention of a future investor. You will still need to present your business plan after your pitch.
What Makes an Effective Elevator Pitch?
When the time comes to write an elevator pitch, typically, there are 8 elements which should be included. These are as follows:
Don’t get caught into the trap of thinking that using long words will make you sound smarter. Use language that everyone understands. Remember that if an investor does not understand what you are trying to say, they are likely to lose interest.
As mentioned, your pitch should not take any longer than 30-60 seconds.
While you should not use fancy long words, you should definitely use words that make an impact to grab an investor’s attention.
-Tell a story
Your story must be short, of course, but it must also tell the story of how your product/service is able to provide a solution to a problem. Ernest Hemingway was able to tell an interesting story in six words. The whole story was, “For sale: Baby shoes, never used.” The genius in this is that Hemingway merely presented a basic outline. Yet, we can assume that a baby has been conceived, plans for its future are made, and then something happens to destroy those plans before they ever take place.
Ensure that your elevator pitch contains words that create a visual image in the investor’s mind. This will maximise your chances of your pitch being remembered.
An effective elevator pitch is targeted at a specific audience. If you are planning to pitch your idea to several different audiences, make sure that you re-work your pitch.
Every story and pitch contains a specific outcome. Ask yourself, what is your desired outcome? For example, do you want help with the marketing aspect of your business? Do you need a lump sum investment? Are you simply looking for a referral etc?
Every great story and song contains a hook; an elevator pitch is no exception. A hook, in elevator pitch terms, is simply something that is able to grab the investor’s interest and makes them want to know more about your business.