Let’s imagine that you meet a potential investor during an elevator ride. You just have a few seconds to pitch your business idea – the elevator pitch, a perfect opportunity to convince someone of your idea. So, how does that work? We’ll explain how the elevator pitch is structured and what the most important aspects are.
What Is An Elevator Pitch?
In general, the elevator pitch is the most efficient way to introduce your startup. The origin of the scenario is as follows: You get into an elevator and you meet someone you want to convince to invest into your startup.
The ride is rather short, so you have between 30 and 60 seconds to convince your potential investor to check out your business plan. Best case scenario: Your pitch literally catapults to the top floor or opens up new avenues.
The elevator ride, of course, is just an example scenario, because an elevator pitch is also very useful for networking events and business meetings, or if you are socializing in general, looking for mentors, or trying to recruite new team members.
How Is the Elevator Pitch Structured?
You are aware that you only have a small window of opportunity which you should use as efficiently as possible. In general, remember that you should answer the most important WH-questions to leave a lasting positive impression.
These are the most important points:
- A short introduction: Who are you and what’s the name of your startup?
- Identify customer problems and explain what your startup is doing precisely to solve those problems.
- What’s your startup’s USP?
- What kind of business model are you relying on?
- Which milestones have you already accomplished?
- What exactly do you need from the person you are pitching to?
At the end of your elevator pitch, the other person should know which problem your startup is offering a solution to and how they can help you to reach your goals. Also, the person should know how to get into contact with you, so always have a business card in your pocket.
What Do Founders Need the Elevator Pitch For?
Most founders start off with a relatively small startup operation and look for growth opportunities after having completed the first crucial steps. Usually, these opportunities take the form of financial support through, e.g., business angels or VCs.
Logically, they must develop an elevator pitch to be able to introduce their startup idea, their future goals, to potential investors. That way, they can try to gain investments, such as mentoring.
No matter what you want to accomplish with your elevator pitch, whether you want to win over investors, important network contacts, or future team members, it’s helpful to plan ahead how you will answers the questions posed above in a short period fo time. That apples to both pre-arranged and spontaneous meetings.
What’s Essential For an Elevator Pitch?
You can expect investors to have heard a lot of elevator pitches before. Which is why your pitch should be really memorable. There’s a few points you can stick to that will help you make your pitch more on point.
Be prepared: You should have rehearsed your elevator pitch beforehand and know all important points in and out.
Show, don’t tell: If you talk about success or milestones, use concrete figures and specific examples.
No open questions: Use short, comprehensible sentences so that the other persons doesn’t have to ask– there’s rarely any time to go into detail concerning specific points.
Keep it short: You should be finished by the time the elevator reaches its destination 😉
Say. what you need: At the end of your pitch, the other person should know exactly what you need and how they can support you.
An elevator pitch requires intense preparation but is definitely worthwhile. Either you gain a potential investor or you find out which aspects you haven’t covered in sufficient detail and what you should work on before you deliver the pitch the next time.
The Perfect Pitch Deck
Apart from having a short elevator pitch, you always should have a more comprehensive pitch deck at the ready to better communicate your business idea. You want to know what such a perfect pitch deck looks like?