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The Company Description as an Extended Elevator Pitch

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  • 0:00 The Description & The…
  • 1:12 The Role of the…
  • 1:44 How Products &…
  • 2:11 Specific Customers
  • 2:47 Competitive Advantages
  • 3:50 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Ian Lord

Ian has an MBA and is a real estate investor, former health professions educator, and Air Force veteran.

The extended elevator pitch strategy of writing a company description provides an opportunity to create a succinct and memorable review of a business idea. Business plan readers will understand the business' goal and unique proposition offered.

The Description and the Elevator Pitch

The business plan is a valuable document for ensuring that you, the entrepreneur, think critically about the details of your business idea. But odds are most potential readers are not going to read the whole thing before deciding whether or not they want to invest in your company. Your company description must get the reader's attention and quickly get the major selling points across.

The elevator pitch, or a quick and clear description, best illustrates how the description can be communicated. Imagine you are on the top floor of a building and get introduced to a potential investor. Unfortunately, you both have to leave for other appointments. As you step into the elevator, you realize you have at least 30 seconds, maybe two minutes, tops, to discuss the idea. This is your first impression; the pitch had better be awesome. How you deliver your idea will make the difference between getting a call back to discuss the idea further and never hearing from the potential investor again.

Think of the company description in the business plan as an extended elevator pitch. Be brief, be clear, and be dynamic. Hit the highlights of what an investor wants to know. Let's look at the content that should go into the plan.

The Role of the Marketplace with Business

The description begins with the basic 'what' of your argument. What is your business, and what need does it serve? The easiest part of this question is what you do. The trick is explaining how you fit in the marketplace and satisfy a need. Why should investors invest in your idea if it just repeats what the competition is doing? Your goal should be to define these aspects in broad terms.

For example, your description for a landscaping business may say: 'My company provides cost-effective landscaping services for budget-conscious households.'

How Products and Services Meet Needs

With the goal in mind, how does your business idea meet that need? Do you offer physical products, provide services, or both?

You might describe our sample landscaping business above with: 'Our research shows that many tenants and homeowners in this area don't want to pay a premium for landscapers who also do complex gardening or tree services. We provide basic landscaping services at a competitive rate, including lawn mowing, edging, and hedge trimming.'

Specific Customers

Who are you offering your services to? The business needs to have a specific customer in mind before deciding on factors like advertising, marketing, pricing, and location. Is your customer a person or a business? Maybe you are selling exclusively to the government.

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