Every successful entrepreneur understands the importance of making a good first impression. At every level in a business’s lifecycle, they will be a need to sell the idea, product, or service to customers and prospective investors, and you never know when a conversation could lead to a check. Owing to that, it is imperative entrepreneurs learn how to put together an effective narrative that buttresses the company’s value, regardless of the setting.
Indeed, five minutes might not seem like a long time when you’re looking to sell your business idea, but if you fail to grab their attention immediately, then their seven-second attention span will block you out, and they will be happily making discussions amongst themselves and maybe tweeting during your moment of glory.
With a five-minute pitch, you should resist the temptation to branch out from your core message. Within these 5 minutes, you must introduce yourself, cover the problem your business solves, and also how you intend to solve it.
You will also want to include other very vital details like what your competitive advantage is and why your business or application is more suitable. Whether you are pitching to get investors on board, bringing in partners who will help grow the business, or getting early adopters of your solution, your 5 minutes pitch should be both interesting and mind-blowing.
5 Steps to Pitch a Business idea in 5 Minutes
The best way to pitch a business in 5 minutes will most definitely vary according to your personality and delivery style, however, below is a detailed guide on how to maximize that precious five minutes:
Catch Your Audience’s Interest – 30 seconds
You must catch your audience’s attention with your Introduction. You may have to start with an introduction of yourself, your team, and your company. Don’t forget that you only have 5 minutes to quickly summarize your business model and startup vision.
When introducing yourself and your business idea, it is important you sound enthusiastic and also passionate. You can grab their attention with interesting and little-known facts about your industry or company so that they are more interested and willing to hear you out. Ensure to remain relatable throughout the pitch as investors may not be conversant with the jargon used in your industry.
Outline the Problem – 70 seconds
After you must have set the stage, you must highlight the gap in the market and let them see why this problem needs to be tackled. Ensure to get them in with a story showcasing how your target market persona is impeded by the problem at hand. Also, make them see the complexity of the problem, and the urgent need to take action and see to the needs of customers. This will also serve as a curtain-raiser for you to show the viability of your solution.
State your Solution – 90 seconds
After you must have outlined the problem, this is where you highlight your product’s unique selling proposition and show how you intend to attain success. Have it in mind that your investor or audience is eager to see that your solution is not only innovative but also viable and profitable.
Also, consider backing your case with findings from extensive analysis and user tests. Note that positive market sentiments and a thorough and rational estimate of your market share will serve as very concrete evidence of your company’s growth potential.
Money Matters – 50 seconds
When you are speaking to investors, don’t forget that they also invest to make returns. They are eager to hear more about your revenue streams and pricing strategy. While you don’t really need to be too specific at this point, note that the main aim here is to convince them that you have a profitable business model.
You will also need to show them a timeline that explains the necessary steps you intend to take to attain a profit-making outcome. Also, make sure they understand how much capital is required and the specific help you need from them.
Conclude – 30 + 30 seconds
As you are looking to conclude, ensure to send investors a call to action. Concisely summarize the two most valid points from your pitch to guarantee impact. Hammer on the massive demand in the market for your product or service.
Also, be ready to take questions from here on. Always do your best to impress your audience with your answers so that they will arrange follow-up meetings with you. In addition, consider a safety buffer of 30 seconds to handle any interruptions or to troubleshoot unexpected problems during the pitch.
If you have concluded your pitch smoothly with a few minutes to spare, ask your audience for feedback. This will be your opportunity to leverage their experience to fine-tune your pitch, and business model, and even get advice on how to enhance your product.
Tips for Pitch a Business idea in 5 Minutes
It is very possible to deliver all the key pieces of information in your 5 minutes pitch to bring your idea to life. Nonetheless, here are tips to help guide you.
Always Remember To Make An Entrance
When you introduce yourself, you must stay brief, state your name, title, and company name, and outline your mind-blowing Vision Statement. Note that the aim is not to state what your startup does but instead the value it brings to the market. In addition, regardless of how great your team is, there won’t be any need to introduce them upfront. Just make sure you sound confident in your delivery.
Keep The Spark In Your Eye
When pitching your business idea to potential investors, have it in mind that they will be searching for the likeability factor and the passion.
Always make sure to bolster your enthusiasm by at least 25%, make sure your excitement about your company is obvious, and don’t forget to give them the feeling that you’re telling it for the first time. Even if you’re presenting the pitch for the umpteenth time, remember they are hearing it for the first time.
Be a Good Storyteller
It is very important that your audience first understands the problem your product or service intends on solving. Note that the surest way is by telling a personal story of your awe moment when you realized there was a problem to be solved.
This might be your personal experience with the problem, someone you love, or the world at large. Always remember that stories are the only way we can bring facts to life, ensure that your audience understands it, picture it happening to them, and want to hear more about how you can solve the problem.
Don’t Forget About the Calls to Action
Most often, you will have time to provide more information and backup details to interested investors. Since you can always provide answers to valid questions during a separate Q&A session, it may not be necessary to fit it into any 5-minute pitch.
Spend that 5 minutes making sure you are not only dishing out vital information about your idea or business but also letting them know what you want their next step to be. Also remember to do this in a way that attracts, engages, and excites your audience.
Learn When To Pause
When delivering your pitch, it is important you know when to pause for dramatic effect and to let the story sink deep. It wouldn’t be nice to go on rambling off and believing that your audience will keep up anyway. Once you have grabbed their interest, describe your solution, explain how it works, and how you have tested it.
Ensure to note that you are aware of the competition out there, and also leverage the opportunity to stress your Unique Selling Proposition and why your product is the best.
As an entrepreneur, you might want to draft and practice a 5-minute pitch as you never can tell when an opportunity will come up. If you are speaking to investors, explain how you started, how far you have come, and how far you intend to go. It shows your business growth and expansion plans (vision).