Imagine this; you are chanced to meet with one of the greatest business minds you know and have an open window to pitch your business to the person for the opportunity to build your business or brand. The thing is, its an elevator pitch-you only have 5-10 minutes to make it count. Would you hack it or would you end up biting your tongue?

As an entrepreneur, whether you like it or not, you need to know how to pitch your business at any given point. This isn’t only required when you’re looking for funds. Having a solid elevator pitch ultimately shows that you know your business inside and out.

Creating a pitch always begins with a clear business plan. The next step is identifying what makes your business worth investing in. you may have a 5 pages long solid financial history and analysis  but you simply cannot cover it all. When it comes to an elevator pitch, you have around 10 minutes at most to do your bidding.

Here’s how to make that quick pitch successful;

Pitch deck; Above having an extended and full business presentation that includes everything about your business that your potential investors can have access to, always have a short version of the same presentation that you can speak about within 10 minutes that will get them excited.

This can be done in your usual working hours where you put together a pitch deck that is easy for you to work off of.

 Practice; you need to be able to quickly highlight each element of your business seamlessly. Don’t assume you know it all by the head. Take time and practice, simplify your messaging, and maintain elements that build up your business. This prevents you from rambling on for 20 minutes when all you had asked for is 10.

Outline the problem with a story; beginning with a compelling story that addresses the problem you’re solving will be sure to engage your audience (investor). Being able to relate it to your investor and any of the industries they’ve invested in previously might work even better.

Solution; share what is unique about your product and the solution you’re providing to the problem. Keep it short and easy. Make it easy for your investor to explain it to others.  Include any prior testing data you might have if any.

Target market; be realistic about who your product is for. Don’t say that everyone is your potential target market. If possible, develop your ideal customer persona while speaking. This helps the investor visualize it.

Business model; how will you make money? Be very specific about your products and pricing.

Marketing strategy; how do you intend to reach your customers? How much will it cost? How will you measure success?

Your team; ensure to share details about your core team and why they are the right people to help lead the company/ investors invest in people first before ideas.

Financial projections; show what you’re projecting in revenue over the next 3-5 years. Back up your numbers by sharing your assumptions so they can check to see your accuracy.

Competitive advantage; provide enough details on why you’re different from your competitors

Funding needs; clearly state how much money has already been invested in your company, by whom, ownership percentages, and how much more you need to go to the next level. Let them know why you need it, what it will be used for and the intended outcome

After all this, investors will want you to be able to back up your claim. Have a well thought out business plan that you can share with them. Regardless of the outcome, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback that you can take into account for your next elevator pitch if they are willing to give it.

Keep refining, practicing, and executing even if you think you’ve found the right pitch. Treat every elevator pitch as a learning experience. It can only get better.

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