When you're diving into starting a business, you will quickly notice how every thought, every decision, and every conversation you have is driven by the product or service you are starting to build from the ground up.
You may find yourself skipping out on social activities so that you can hunker down and do research for your company. You may even decide to break your lease and move back home to your parent's house so you can use the cash you would normally spend on rent, on bootstrapping your new idea.
But one thing you might not be able to control is how much you find yourself talking about your start-up to your family members, your friends, your dentist, and even potential investors you meet at a networking event. It will become your favorite thing to talk about and phrases like, “Can I pick your brain" or “What do you think of this idea?" will flow out of your mouth without you even realizing what you are saying and who you are saying it to.
So if you're in the business start-up zone and you're looking to impress an investor, spill the behind-the-scenes of the company to a close friend, or let a first date know how much of a badass female entrepreneur you are, here are tips on how to refine your elevator pitch to meet your audience's needs.
Finding yourself standing in front of a table of investors can be a frightening and also empowering thing. Chances are you have worked your butt off to get a business plan ready, a product or service outline to present, and even some press surrounding your start-up to show off to them. It might be a groundbreaking meeting, but if anything, it is a chance for you to clearly explain your business idea and the impact it will have on your target audience.
For this, it's important to get personal while also staying on track. Begin the pitch with an anecdote of what drove you to start this business and how the problem your business is going to solve is something near and dear to you. Then go on with the answers to these questions, “Why you? Why now? Why this?"
Providing a short pitch, answering those questions first, will allow potential investors to understand why you're starting this business and what makes you quailed to lead it down the path of success.
When you're catching up with your close circle of friends, either over brunch, the phone, or a group text, people might share what they've been up to lately. If all you can think about responding is, “I've been up to too much stuff with starting this business," you might want to bite your tongue or erase the text and think of something more useful and practical to say.
It's okay to vent about the struggles you're having with your business to your friends, but don't forget to also boast about the positives and the wins you've experienced too.
If you find that you've already handed your friends your elevator pitch one too many times and got them excited about what your business is going to be, it's time to refine the pitch so that when you talk to them, you're providing them with updates on your business so that they can give you feedback and also help keep you motivated and inspired.
This pitch should include just one problem you've faced that week and then two wins or positives you have acquired so that you can get in the habit of celebrating success. By also stating those important things, you'll be able to help your friends better understand your business idea, why it matters, and how it's going to change the industry that you are breaking into.
3. A First Date
One of the most annoying questions for an entrepreneur on a first date is the question of, “what do you do for a living?" Perhaps you're working a 9-5 job, a part-time gig, or a handful of part-time gigs, while also creating magic on the side for your new business, and the answer to that question can be complicated.
Or, maybe you've recently quit your full-time job to pursue your own business and you fear that by saying that to your date, they'll give you a stern talking about how you're going to drain your savings and be out of the workforce for too long.
Either way, it's important to come at your date with a confident answer as to “what do you do for a living?" and the best place to start is with a quick elevator pitch for your business.
Unlike the one you gave to investors or friends, who might be the same demographic as potential customers for your business, your goal with this pitch is to excite and impress your date.
Start with a sentence or two about the problem you're looking to solve, the audience you want to target, and the unique feature of your business. Add in another sentence about your background and experience, so you're date can get a feel for how rad you are, with a final sentence about why you're the right person to start this business.
This pitch will not only eliminate your date's questions on whether or not you're a serious entrepreneur but will also get them feeling intimidated and certain that you are one strong and fierce female sitting across from them on this date.
WRITTEN BYJen Glantz