- Created on 05 September 2013
What would you say about your small business if you had three minutes in front of Warren Buffett?
This is a question frequently posed to participants in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. One of the key tenants of the program is creating an elevator pitch — one good enough to be delivered to one of the program's advisory board members, the Oracle of Omaha.
The goal of an elevator pitch is to cover only essential information about you and your small business. Your speech should be efficient, effective, and compelling. It should explain what your business is, the problem it solves, why it has potential for growth, and why you are the one to lead it. The pitch should be three minutes or less and help a potential investor understand enough about you and your business to recognize the opportunity and want to know more about how they could partner with you to achieve business growth.
Working on perfecting your own elevator pitch? Below are five critical elements you will need to include to get investors excited about your small business opportunity.
1. Hard Numbers
Investors may love your product, your enthusiasm or the potential opportunity, but unless you have the data and hard numbers to back up your projections and needs, they won't be able to commit. Know the percentage of growth you can expect, how much money you need to achieve this growth, and when the investor can begin to expect a return.
Don't Say: "I think I'll need a large amount of capital. People have said they want to do more business with me."
Say: "I need $100,000 because my two largest clients are planning to increase their orders by 25 percent over the next 12 months and I need faster equipment to accept this opportunity."
2. Excellent Research
Explain how you arrived at your numbers, where the research is derived from, and why you believe it to be the best measure or indicator of the current market. Include a few key data points in the pitch and have additional points in your back pocket to use when answering questions.
Don't Say: "I've seen in my restaurant that the market seems to be shifting toward more demand for sandwiches."
Say: "Our analysis of 12 months of customer-spend data shows that people are buying 30 percent more sandwiches than a year ago."
3. Reasons Why YOU Are The Expert
No one knows your business or your industry better than you do, so make sure you establish your credentials and that you understand your clients' needs. Investors need to know they are putting their money behind someone who truly understands the fundamentals of their sector.
Don't Say: "I really like dogs, so I started Paws Grooming from my home office."
Say: "After 10 years of experience in a vet's office, dog walking and looking after foster puppies, I saw a gap in the market I knew I could fill."
4. Passion That Shows
Your business is meaningful to you; let investors know that. They want to see someone who is committed to the success of the business and passionate about what they do. They don't want to support someone who is only after money. Explain why you love your business, why it is important and why you believe in it. Confidence is contagious — so spread the enthusiasm.
Don't Say: "I didn't know what to do after college and a friend needed a business development partner."
Say: "I believe that children should have a healthy meal every day and this is the fundamental driver of my business."
5. A Memorable Closing
When giving an elevator pitch, entrepreneurs are often so focused on delivering the right information with the right data that when it comes to the conclusion they wind up saying, "So, that's my business... any questions?" The closing is the opportunity for you to say where you want to go next and draw the investor into a longer conversation or follow-up. Keep it strong and on point.
Don't Say: "That's about all I have to say. What do you think?"
Say: "To pursue the opportunity I just outlined, I need financial backing. I would love to discuss further how we could work together on this project. Shall we meet next week?"
- Created on 05 September 2013
The high school sophomore founded his own tech company, which specializes in web design and other IT services, Bledsoe Technologies, at the ripe age of 13 years old. In just over two years the tech titan managed to expand his small business — run by two people — into a global venture worth $3.5 million, employing 150 contracted workers.
Bledsoe credits a web design class, offered as apart of his school's gifted education program, as the foundation for his business idea. When he's not busy running a global technology company, you can find Bledsoe partaking in more typical high school roles such as being president of the Student Council and the Parent Teacher Student Association.
In the past, the young CEO has served as the chief technology officer of St. Louis Volunteen, a local program that focuses on promoting teen...
- Created on 04 September 2013
The Rainbow PUSH Automotive Project, an initiative of the Citizenship Education Fund, will convene its 14th Annual Rainbow PUSH Global Automotive Summit, October 2-3, at the MGM Grand Detroit Meeting & Events Center in Detroit. This year's theme, "Economic Parity: Driving The Plan For Success," addresses the release of the Rainbow PUSH Diversity Automotive Scorecard.
The Rainbow PUSH/CEF Global Automotive Summit provides viable solutions in an industry that is still
recovering from significant economic downturns. The Summit's ultimate goal is to bring inclusive
strategies to the forefront of the global business landscape as an endeavor to identify, sustain and
grow ethnic suppliers, dealers, media outlets, advertising agencies and firms that provide professional
Summit conversations will include community and industry leaders discussing The Assault on Diversity at the Leadership Town Hall Breakfast. As the automotive industry bounces back and reaches
unprecedented growth rates and profitability, African American automotive suppliers and dealers have
dwindled to an alarming rate. Automotive leaders will also Speak on Diversity: The Business Case during the Business & Education Awards Luncheon. The Summit will conclude by recognizing living legends and emerging leaders in the automotive industry.
"We will continue to celebrate diversity within the automotive industry by recognizing companies whose business model embodies inclusion. However, we will also highlight those companies that resist diversity," said Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., president and founder of Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
"Minority consumers support automotive companies with more than 22 percent of new vehicle purchases, yet some companies' diversity plans continue to lag woefully. This is unacceptable."
In January the Rainbow PUSH Automotive Project released an Automotive Diversity Scorecard to provide a snapshot of each manufacturer's success of building and sustaining diversity and inclusion. The Automotive Diversity Scorecard is the basis for the establishment of unbiased diversity standards that will be presented at this year's Summit.
The Summit sponsors include (but are not limited to) Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Toyota Motor Sales USA, Chrysler Group, Honda, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Subaru and Volkswagen.
For more information about registration for the 14th Annual Rainbow PUSH/CEF Global Automotive Summit visit www.rainbowpush.org.
- Created on 04 September 2013
JK Shin, head of Samsung Mobile Communications, presents the Samsung Galaxy Gear in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013. Samsung has unveiled a highly anticipated digital wristwatch well ahead of a similar product expected from rival Apple. The so-called smartwatch is what some technology analysts believe could become this year's must-have holiday gift. Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Gear on Wednesday in Berlin ahead of the annual IFA consumer electronics show. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)
BERLIN (AP) — Samsung has unveiled a highly anticipated digital wristwatch at least weeks ahead of a similar product expected from rival Apple. The so-called smartwatch is what some technology analysts believe could become this year's must-have holiday gift.
Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Gear on Wednesday in Berlin ahead of the annual IFA consumer electronics show.
Samsung says the Gear can act as an extension to a smartphone by discreetly alerting users to incoming messages and calls on its display screen, which measures 1.63 inches diagonally.
Users can even make calls, secret agent-style without getting out their phone.
The Gear also sports a basic camera and works with popular social media and fitness apps such as Twitter and RunKeeper.
The Android-powered device starts shipping in most countries Sept. 25 starting at $299.