Elevator test: how to present a business idea
Try to ask yourself a question: what exactly does your company do or would do if you are just thinking about starting your own business? “This is usually a pretty daunting task. You understand what you are doing, the employees also seem to know. In fact not exactly,” writes the president of the Vasyl Khmelnytsky Foundation K.FUND, head of the Small and Medium Entrepreneurship School (SME School) Lidiia Paschuk in her book “Ukrainian Dream. I’m a businessman!“. They actually listen for 30 seconds! And if you cannot explain what the essence of the business or idea is, then the listener’s attention is lost irretrievably.
Try the elevator test for yourself. Imagine that you are driving an elevator with a potential investor or client. You need to talk about what your business is doing during the 30-second trip. Here are some questions that can help shape your elevator presentation.
- Who you are? (What is the name of the enterprise or project?)
- Where do you work? (Where exactly and what area does your organization work in?)
- Who do you work for? (Who is your target audience?)
- What needs do you satisfy? (What customer need does your product satisfy?)
- What is your peculiarity? (How are you different from the competition?)
- So what? (Amplification — why exactly should you buy your product or service?)
Elevator speech can be the basis for pitching.
Pitching is a short presentation of a business idea to a potential investor, partner, or client. The answer is that the description of the business is useful for every entrepreneur and his employees.
When forming aт elevator test, it is important to:
- Avoid slang: your message should be clear to more than just your industry;
- Not create too long a list of activities: you should describe the company in precise and concise phrases that will interest the listener;
- Concentrate on what you are really doing well, and would not like to do;
- It is good to think about the last question “So what?”: The answer to it should justify the necessity of the existence of the organization in general;
- The elevator speech should be easy to memorize. Provide the facts to get into the mind of every listener.
It can be useful for the management and owners of the company to conduct an “elevator test” for the staff. This is an easy and quick way to understand if the staff gets the essence of the organization’s work. Or is everyone looking in the same direction? Are there any contradictions? What do employees inform about?
To do this, you need to give employees no more than 5 minutes and ask them to tell what the company is doing. After that, you should compose together or use the elevator speech prepared by the management, which will later be used in the communication process. Such a speech will also be useful in communicating with potential investors, partners, as well as with consumers. It can form the basis of your presentation, and its text can appear on the company’s pages on social networks.
“At the moment when you are just starting your activity, an elevator speech is one of the first steps in the process of forming, materializing the chosen business idea,” writes Lydiia Paschuk.