Startups

What is An Elevator Pitch and Why Every Startup Should Have One?

elevator pitch

This guest column is by Anurag Kapoor, Director, GHV Accelerator

An elevator pitch is an essential tool for every startup to reach important milestones, be it raising funds or getting clients on board.

Usually an elevator pitch can be a simple one-page overview of your business, or even a brief of your business that can be delivered to the investors verbally. It works as an icebreaker with people (usually potential stakeholders) you have just met. You don’t necessarily have to sell your business in an elevator pitch; instead you can use it to make people aware of what you do. It should ideally be a small 60 seconds conversation that could eventually lead into a deeper dialogue or generate interest about you and your company.

What is an elevator pitch?

An elevator pitch works as an executive summary of your business, and tells clients and investors details about your company, its market, target audience and why you are going to be successful.

Benefits of an elevator pitch

For startups, it is essential to make a connection with their investors, clients or other stakeholders in just a few minutes, and an elevator pitch can help you do that. Once perfected, an elevator pitch can work as the right tool for career advancement, professional growth and client base expansion. You can make a good impression within the first few minutes of meeting potential mentors, friends, investors or clients, if you have the right elevator pitch.

Key elements of an elevator pitch

1. Attention grabbing

First and foremost an elevator pitch should have an attention grabbing first line. It can be a statement or a question that would make the person sitting in front of you take notice and want to hear more.

2. An impactful summary that explains what your business is all about

Your elevator pitch should give a brief description of your product, as well as who is your target audience. You should also mention in brief how your product or service has a need or requirement or if it will solve a problem.

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Elevator pitches are supposed to be short and should ideally last less than a minute so don’t try to pack in too much information. Don’t talk about the technology behind your product; rather what is the one unique thing that it brings to the table.

3. Advantages of investing in your business

You should talk about why the investor should take a risk to invest with you. What is it that you bring to the table that your competitors don’t? You should be able to mention key differentiators that make you a more viable than other competitors.

4. A description of your team

You should give a brief description about the people behind the business, their background as well as their strengths. In your pitch, you can mention how you and your team have the necessary skills to execute your vision and lead it to success.

5. SWOT analysis of your business plan

A good elevator pitch should highlight the gaps in your sector as well as mention the opportunities for scalability. It is also important to note down your strengths and identify areas of improvement.

6. Highlight key differentiators

Talk about why the investor should take a risk to invest with you. What is it that you bring to the table that your competitors don’t? You should be able to mention the key differentiators that highlight the strength of your business and sets you apart from your competitors. You should mention your company’s USP’s, patents or any other entry barriers that you may be creating in your sector. If pitched properly, it can generate interest and lead to business for you.

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7. Unit Economics

Most startups will not have clear financial goals and plans. However, it is important to highlight your unit economics, i.e., your revenues and costs per customer. This will provide a clearer picture of your customer acquisition costs and the viability of your company.

8. Milestones

You should mention any important milestones that you have achieved since the launch of the company. You can also talk about upcoming goals, which can give mentors or investors a clearer idea of where you stand and where you are headed.

9. Call to action

Lastly, finish your pitch with a request, it can be anything that you are looking for, whether it’s for the next meeting, or asking them to introduce you to investors or look at your business plan. Your goals for the pitch should be clear, and you should not hesitate to let the investors or mentors know exactly what you are looking for.

10. Be Prepared

It is important for you to know all aspects of your business, and you should be prepared to answer all the questions asked by clients, investors or mentors. Lastly, you should be able to convey your passion and enthusiasm for your company in your elevator pitch. Be natural and even if you make mistakes, smile and start over.

Conclusion

Working on an elevator pitch is very important for every startup. It should, most importantly, reflect a complete clarity of though on the part of the entrepreneur and should convey the message in a simple and precise manner.

Remember, the right elevator pitch could lead to your big break in just a few seconds, so work on creating the right pitch that represents you and your company the best!

Image Source – Inc Images

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