As an entrepreneur, you naturally need to possess a wide range of traits and skills. You need to have an idea, a passion,and a willingness to take risks. You need to have strong business sense but an eye for creativity. You need to be diligent and determined, no matter how challenging the obstacles.
And, at the same time, you also need to be a salesman. Specifically, you need the capacity to sell your fledgling business – to consumers, to potential employees, and most importantly, to investors.
Pitching an entrepreneurial venture to investors can be a life-or-death proposition, at least as far as your startup business is concerned. If investors like what they hear, they will hopefully provide the capital your project needs to succeed. If not, your idea may very well fall prey to a lack of cash.
So it goes without saying that the investor pitch is a highly crucial one. But this appeal all too often comes in the form of an “elevator pitch” – a pitch that needs to be made quickly, convincingly, and in a minimal amount of time. Whether you are speaking to people at a convention or sending off brief emails, it is essential that this pitch is both compelling and concise.
How can this be done? How can you appeal to investors when you have only a minute to make your case? It’s no easy task, that’s for sure. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
-Stand out. There are two key ways that you can stand out in the mind of an investor: one, you can emphasize the credibility that your startup already carries, or two, you can focus on the unique potential that your business offers. Credibility can be achieved through receiving awards or grants, or by already having some big investors on board. Potential, on the other hand, is a reflection of your startup’s unique promise; for example, you may want to highlight the lucrativeness of the niche market you plan to enter.
-Don’t tell a story. While the story of your business’s beginnings may matter to you and may sound impressive, most investors have heard tale after tale of inspired ideas and hardscrabble origins. Your story is likely to benefit you down the road, but it has little place in an elevator pitch.
-It’s all about the numbers. So what, then, do investors want if they don’t care about your story? Numbers, of course. Specifically, they want to see budget and earnings forecasts and they want to know how such estimations were derived. While you probably won’t be handing over a spreadsheet during your elevator pitch, it’s important to keep some of your key growth numbers in mind.
-Practice makes perfect. Finally,
it goes without saying that an elevator pitch is not difficult to perfect – but doing so requires practice. Don’t hesitate to write out a pitch and present it to friends, business partners, or family members. You’ll later be glad that you did.
These are just a few tips to keep in mind when crafting an elevator pitch. For more advice you can always check out the business lectures available at OpenSesame.com. If your startup company has potential but is lacking in capital, it’s always important to consider such advice and have an elevator pitch ready at all times