* The Story

Explaining your business idea is much like dating.  On date 1, date 2, date 10, and date 100... you are always telling a story about you - the same story - just in progressively more detail.  You have to start with what will most interest the other person to want to ask to learn more - and keep adding detail until you get a match or have to move on.

Telling the story of your business idea isn't much different.  There are a few big categories of info the other person wants to know.  If you have 30 seconds, you have to hit the highlights in such a way that they will hopefully ask to learn more.  If you hook them in the first 30 seconds, then you start adding more detail.  The process repeats over and over until you have found a match or moved on.

What are those few big pieces?   Us EI'rs would say they are something like this (in the order one typically ends up telling The Story):

  1. Company - What the heck category do you fit in (so they know if I should even pay attention)?
  2. Need - What is the problem/opportunity you see in the world?
  3. Solution - What benefits can you deliver to solve that problem?
  4. Market - How many dollars have this problem? 
  5. Competition - How can you get those dollars better than anyone else?
  6. Business Model - How the heck do you get PAID to solve this problem?
  7. Financials - How much will you have to spend to solve this problem?
  8. Exit/Return - How much money will you/investors make if all goes well?
  9. Milestones - What are the five steps between you and world domination?
  10. Team -  Why should I believe the people you have/are looking for can pull this off?

An elevator pitch, executive summary, mini plan, and a business plan are all ways of telling the SAME story described above - each piece is simply in more detail.

What is the elevator pitch version of Your Story?