Tips to Perfect Your Small Business Elevator Pitch

small business elevator pitchHow to make the most of business opportunities with an elevator pitch that delivers a concise and targeted message

What can you say about your business in one minute? That’s the concept behind the Elevator Pitch. It is a quick summary of what your business does designed to spark the interest of a customer or investor.

Elevator pitches are an essential promotional tool for any business owner. Creating an elevator pitch is a highly effective method for communicating to new customers and investors what they need to know about your company and what it does. A succinct description of your business will pique the curiosity of others and leave them begging for more information.

Crafting a strong elevator pitch is the most important fundamental marketing skill every business executive needs, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. A good elevator pitch can open doors to greater growth and success.

Elevator Pitch Purpose

Telling other people about your business is the proven formula for promoting business growth. Share essential details about a product or service in a quick message so people get a snapshot of what it is all about and why it matters to them. This is the concept driving a 15 or 30 second TV spot and it is also the same principle that operates in an elevator pitch.

An elevator pitch covers what is important about your business and why those particular details are important. It is basically a business owner’s chance to make a good first impression — like a man taking a woman on a first date. Getting second chances in the business world is not easy. Perfecting your elevator pitch can help you deliver the right message the first time.

Elevator Pitch Tips

An elevator pitch must work in multiple situations and conversations. Your pitch is not designed to share the entire story or hit on every important point in a minute. It is designed to get a person thinking about your message and persuade them to seek out more information.

Pick and choose where to go into detail and where to be brief. If you are speaking to an investor, you don’t need to tell them your business loan has been approved or you plan to apply for a business credit card. Simply explain that you are raising capital and move on.

There are several things you can do to refine your elevator pitch so that it is pitch perfect:

Use Fresh Ideas

An elevator pitch should grow and change along with your business. What you choose to highlight about your business needs to be adaptable. Show how your business helps people now and what separates you from the competition in the present.

Tailor Your Pitch

It is all about speaking to each person as if your pitch was exclusively designed for them. Tailor your elevator pitch to address their questions and meet their informational needs. An investor, vendor and customer are not going to want to hear you repeat the same message with no variation.

Practice It

Building a perfect pitch takes experience. Practice your pitch regularly. Mashable suggests recording a pitch on a video camera or trying it out in front of a select group of friends or colleagues to get feedback on where you need improvements.

Elevator Pitch Resources

It isn’t necessary to simply rely on your wits alone to craft an effective elevator pitch. Many good resources are available to business owners and salespeople to educate them on what to say about their company.

Harvard Business School, for example offers a template for building an elevator pitch. This template guides a person step-by-step on building their pitch. They can answer the who, what and why questions about their business, identify their pitch goal and analyze the strength of their pitch.

When you learn how to concisely deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time, you can truly make the most of any businesses opportunity that comes your way.

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With nearly 30 years of integrated marketing experience, Diane is the founder of and author of the award-winning book PR Tools to Toot Your Own Horn. Diane also runs Marine Marketing Tools, a site that bridges her passion for boating and small business marketing, and two boating lifestyle sites: and