What is the elevator pitch – and how to do it?

Following up the previous post, today’s topic is the elevator pitch — – in my opinion nearly the most important part of your business plan. To understand why let’s have a look at its content.

What is the elevator pitch?

This is the synopsis of your business idea, says the theory.
In practice, this is —your answer to the question “What are you doing?”
You have to be able to explain short and with simple words:

–  What does your business do?
–  Who is it for?
– What makes it different to the competitors?

If you are launching a business, those are the answers which you always has to know and be prepared to say in the best possible way. This is the moment, when the spotlight turns on to you and your conversation partner or partners are listening to you — you are on stage, and it’s showtime! But before this happen, your elevator pitch has to be written.

How to write the elevator pitch?

Because the elevator pitch is the synopsis of your idea, it has to be written after you finished the rest of your business plan. Anyway, you will start writing it probably at the very beginning because this is one of the interesting sections of a business plan and because you will be curious how are you going to present your idea to another people. That’s why it is sensible to keep the elevator pitch as a work in process and developing it parallel with the other parts of your business plan.

The graphic below shows the main components of a business plan and as you see the two points on the left – business summary and elevator pitch – include all of the information from the points on the right. Which way you ever choose to write your business plan, at the end you should have summary and pitch that contain all the initial information about your business.

Plan of activities map

Start  with the name

How are you going to call your company?
The name is the first thing what people will see in your marketing materials. It should give an idea of what you do, what you stand for and to pick you out from the competition. While choosing the name you need to think about:

– What your name says about you and your business
– How your name influences potential customers and
– Whether the name you have in mind is already being used by another business

Last but not least: you have to live with this name. It should reflect everything said above, but also you should feel comfortable with it: you should love it and be proud of it.
The strapline for the company name.
This is a catchy phrase that goes with your business name. For example:
nühaus – we design and build.

Not every business needs a strapline, but if you decide for one, it should emphasise the key selling point of your business, the bit that makes your company standing out.
Once you’ve chosen a strapline, you can include it in your marketing materials, email signature and website.

Short & sweet

You will need weeks or months to set up your business plan and to prepared the elevator pitch, but at the end, it should be as long as you can say in 2-3 minutes.

Brainstorm your ideas, select the most important points and edit them to content — be clear and precise, use verbs and nouns — write a strong elevator pitch. Once this work is done, you will need to cut down your text. This ‘s hard, but it’s worth. The elevator pitch is a short, strong message to your audience and should make them curious about your company and not scares them from the vast amount of information. That’s why cut it down, make it simpler, keep it short & sweet.

Learn it by heart

Yes, this is a serious advice. Learn your elevator pitch by heart. Practice it with your best friend, in front of the mirror and under the shower. You should be the best speaker for your elevator pitch. Your voice, your intonation, your body language — everything has to be perfect when you present your idea. As I said at the beginning it is like being on stage: your rehearsal hard at home, to perform easy when the lights turn on to you!

Enjoy your preparation and enjoy the sun!

Yours, Eva


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