Looking to raise funds to help your small company grow? Then you must perfect your 60-second “elevator pitch,” say Jeff Sloan and Rich Sloan, lifelong American entrepreneurs and authors of Startup Nation. Essentially a boiled-down version of your business plan, you should be ready to deliver the pitch to potential investors at any moment.To prepare yourself for writing (and subsequently rehearsing and memorizing!) your pitch, write down the answers to these 10 questions:
- What’s the idea? That’s your incredibly important lead.
- What’s the status of your idea? What stage of development is your idea in? Is your company already up and running?
- What market does your idea address? Investors get excited about businesses that address what’s called a “screaming need.” Describe that need in one line.
- What feedback do you have indicating you’re onto something hot? Describe anything from market research to customer testimonials.
- How are you going to get people to buy what you offer? Mention your brilliant marketing and distribution plans that distinguish you from the competition.
- What’s special about your team? Put a lot of emphasis on team qualifications. A great team can make even an average idea into a winner, but an average team has tough odds no matter how incredible the idea is.
- What’s the total funding you’re seeking? You have to throw out a number.
- What’s the fundraising strategy? To show you understand investors’ needs in general, give a highlight of some deal terms-just enough to show off your savvy and sensitivity to investor objectives.
- What’s the projected return on investment? Give the investor an idea of the winnings he or she will enjoy.
- What’s next? Finish strong with a specific question such as “Can I walk you through my business plan? It really outlines how big this opportunity is.”
© 2005 Rogers Media Inc.
Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com