How to define your business idea in words.

Investors want to hear about good ideas, they want to be inspired by them. But the greatest tragedy of all is when an entrepreneur has a great idea, but somehow the words aren’t right. The message doesn’t get across and the investor doesn’t understand what an amazing idea it is.

Sometimes it can be just one first, short phrase which opens the gateway to new business. This is known as the elevator pitch. It’s the tiny snippet of text that explains what you do and gets people to say ‘Wow. I get it. That’s a great idea’. Incidentally, the reason it’s called an elevator pitch (in case you didn’t know already) is because it’s designed to get the message across between floors during an elevator ride, or a ‘journey in a lift’ if you’re British.

The Elevator Pitch.

Your potential investor is going to want to know what is unique about your business, so your elevator pitch needs to offer a combination of explanations that are both strategically interesting and inspiring. You can add the characterful words in later. Make sure you get the facts straight first.

Fill in the blanks:

This product/service is for (target customer), who has (customer need). (Product or service name) is a (marketing category) that (key benefit), unlike (competition), the product (unique differentiator).

The even shorter version:

Our _____ is the only _______ that __________.

Here’s our elevator pitch as an example.

“This service is for entrepreneurs who want to make their first pitch to a local investor. The Funding Room offers entrepreneurs an online slot to talk to an investor, so that neither party has to travel to meet each other, unlike other matchmaking services between investors and entrepreneurs which ask people to meet offline and face to face, usually in London.”

Once you’ve got the nuts and bolts down, you can start to play with the language, refine it down, or make it more creative.

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