Aspiring entrepreneurs must develop an elevator pitch, or start-up pitch, to effectively communicate their business ideas in a quick and concise manner. Without practice, business planners can stumble over their words and confuse listeners when trying to explain their business plans. A polished and practiced pitch can leave listeners interested, impressed and eager to hear more. Knowing how to give an effective start-up pitch is must for all aspiring business owners, and this skill can be helpful when pitching yourself to prospective employers, as well.
Begin your pitch by laying out the vital statistics of the business plan --- the what, why, where and when. Don't worry about the "how," because giving your start-up pitch is often a big part of how your business will get off the ground. Start with your planned business name, your principal line of business, the company's geographic reach and your planned timeframe for getting started.
Discuss the unmet or under-served needs or wants your business will fulfill. Focus on how your products and services fulfill what customers are looking for, or how your company presents a new and competitive angle in an existing market.
Briefly review your market research findings. Avoid digging too deeply into details here for most listeners, to avoid boring or distracting them from the main message. Quickly review the size of the market, the number of direct competitors in the market and the total dollar value of potential sales in the market. Bring up highlights about any first-hand research you conducted, such as positive statements from product trials or promises of future patronage.
Discuss the profit potential of the start-up and any unique advantages of your proposed business model. Your most crucial start-up pitches will be in front of investors and lenders, who will always be primarily concerned with your understanding of where your profit is going to come from and how quickly they will be able to recoup their investments. Show your mastery of the numbers by providing a solid profit margin estimate, and be ready to explain how you arrived at your figures.
Practice your pitch before the pressure is on. Memorize all of the important numbers and figures, such as market sizes, expected revenue figures and start-up costs to be able to answer listeners' questions with confidence. Practice your pitch in the mirror at first, then move on to friends and family. When your listeners can immediately put your pitch in their own words after hearing it, you are ready to try it out in the real world. Keep your start-up pitch as simple and straightforward as possible. Too many ideas coming at listeners too quickly can cause them to miss vital information. Continually refine your pitch until you reach a perfect balance between brevity and thoroughness. The most effective elevator pitches come in between one and five minutes long.