In this article, you will learn what an elevator pitch is and why it is so important.
You will then learn how to create a great elevator pitch for your business, using the comparative formula or elevator pitch template provided below.
What Is An Elevator Pitch?
An elevator pitch is a brief summary of your business. It is designed to quickly convey the key elements of your business to investors and get them interested.
As the name “elevator pitch” implies, it’s derived from the amount of time you would have to speak to an investor if you were riding an elevator with them. Accordingly, the goal of your elevator pitch is to convey your message and get the investor interested in 60 seconds or less.
Why Elevator Pitches Are Important
Most investors are constantly pitched with new ideas. As a result, if you can’t convey your story and gain their interest in 60 seconds, they’ll move on to the next opportunity. There are just so many hours in the day, and investors are too busy to invest time thoroughly reviewing all companies they come across. So, if you can’t convey your business quickly and effectively, you won’t receive funding.
Similarly, venture capitalists generally work in teams. So, if one member of the venture capital firm is interested in funding your company, they need to present it to the others. In doing so, they need an effective elevator pitch. If they don’t have it, they’ll fail to convince the others to fund you.
A Great Elevator Pitch Formula: Comparing Yourself to Another Successful Venture
One way to concisely explain your business to others is to compare it to another successful business they know and to show how you’re different.
One company who did this well was Bookswim. Bookswim’s elevator pitch was this: “We are Netflix for books.”
From just these five words, investors knew Bookswim was an online book rental company just like Netflix is an online movie rental company.
The Simple Elevator Pitch Template
If you’re able to compare and differentiate yourself from a successful company, that is a recipe for elevator pitch success.
If that formula doesn’t work for you, or if you’re seeking a more comprehensive elevator pitch, use the elevator pitch template below:
A. Start by answering the following questions:
- What does your company do (start with phrases such as we help, we provide, we manufacture, we offer, etc.)?
- Who does your company serve (who are your customers? teenagers? entrepreneurs, new parents, etc.)?
- What key benefits do you offer your customers? (e.g., higher quality/more success, lower cost, more reliable, etc.)?Why is your company better than competitors? (e.g., even faster, less expensive, etc.)? What information gives your firm more credibility (e.g., track record)?
- Is there a clear and clean business sector that your company fits into (e.g., restaurant, CPA firm, etc.)?
B. Combine the key information from Questions 1-5 into a 35 word or less statement that describes your business.
Say it aloud to make sure it sounds good and makes sense. Tell it to friends to make sure they “get” it. Tell it to employees to confirm that they can repeat it back to you.
Here’s an example: Rick’s Bridal sells high-end wedding gowns and accessories to brides in New York City. For twenty years, Rick’s has served over 25,000 satisfied brides through our six locations.
Practice Makes Perfect
Importantly, you should write down/type up your elevator pitch and practice delivering it.
The more you practice, the more easily you will concisely recite it within 60 seconds and the more natural it will sound.
Finally, try delivering your elevator pitch to friends, family, and warm contacts first to get their feedback before giving your first pitch to real investors or lenders.
Elevator Pitch Template Infographic
Below is an infographic of this article for quick reference.
To further help you develop your elevator pitch, we put together the slide presentation below to show you “How to Craft a Killer Elevator Pitch.”