Your elevator pitch (or business statement) isn’t static. As a business grows and changes, new priorities and goals often emerge, so its mission and vision statements need regular evaluation and adjusting in order to remain effective and help the business succeed. Of course, it can be difficult to decide where to start and how much the focus should shift when trying to fine-tune your elevator pitch.
There are both broad and narrow areas to look into to assess and refine a business statement. Here, 15 members of Forbes Coaches Council (including me!) discuss different key aspects they would suggest their clients consider to help them determine how their business statements should evolve along with their companies.
Skip down to #9 to read my contribution.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS.
- Think About Your Biggest Challenges And Goals
The very first thing I would do is to sit down with them and ask them questions about their business. What are the biggest challenges they are facing right now? What do they want to accomplish in the next six months, or in the next year? Having conversations like this with them helps me get a better understanding of what their needs are and how I can best advise them moving forward. – Willena Faison, Career Boss Academy
- Consider What You Do Best And For Whom
The first question for someone trying to define a statement in their business or marketing plan is always, “What do you do best and for whom?” As a leader tries to answer that question, we encourage them to be as clear, simple and memorable as possible. Occasionally, those attributes conflict with each other—in which case, clarity should always be the priority. – Precious Williams Owodunni, Mountaintop Consulting
- Look At Your Most Profitable Service Or Product
A company can fine-tune its business statement by determining whether its most profitable service or product is also its highest revenue-generating. If they are one and the same, the company can dig into how they can increase the ease of use. If these are not the same, then the company must ask why, as there may be an opportunity to increase profits or customer satisfaction. – Wendy Fong, Chief Gigs
- Consider Why The Business Exists
If you want to make an impact, in the wise words of Simon Sinek, “Start with why.” Why does your business exist, and why is it important to you? Look at the value your company brings, the problem you solve and why it’s important to your ideal client. People buy from people, so incorporating your brand ethics and values into your business statement lets customers instantly know your company so that it resonates with them. – Andrea Callanan, Andrea Callanan
- Create A Simple ‘Values Received’ Statement
Forget what you think your business value is. Gain objective clarity from a core sample of your target audience. Ask specific questions about the personal and emotional (not professional) value each receives from your product or service. Find patterns in the responses you get. Create a simple “values received” statement in one to three sentences. Remember, it’s not what you offer—it’s what others receive! – Jay Steven Levin, WinThinking
- Figure Out What Customers Need To Hear First
Figure out what your customers need to hear first—what do they get from working with you? What do they gain? What’s the feeling there? How will they know you’re worth it? Your “why” is great, but the tangible value the client receives is a bigger business statement than any mission concept. – Kate Peters, Bright Voyage Leadership
- Have A Clear Vision For The Future
First, have a clear vision of where you are heading. Second, clarify the values. Third, list all the benefits your clients are getting through your business. Now, write a statement that will motivate you to get up in the morning and make a difference in this world. Your passion will be contagious. – Masha Malka, The One Minute Coach Corp.
- Make It Simple, Close The Gaps And Brainstorm FAQs
Think simplicity. The Feynman Learning Technique forces us to pretend we are sharing the business statement with a sixth-grader. Once we have done that, we can look at the gaps of what doesn’t make sense to us with that distillation. If we don’t close those gaps, we will lose the reader of the business statement. Then, we brainstorm what we think are the top five questions we will be asked. – Evan Roth, Roth Consultancy International, LLC.
- Evaluate It Through The Lens Of Problems And Solutions
Buyer motivation comes from two factors: problems and solutions. Evaluate your business statement through that lens. Does your statement address the problem or paint point you solve, the unique solution you provide and the quantifiable impact your solution offers to a select group of best buyers? – Michela Quilici, MQ Consulting and Business Training, Inc.
- Review The Brand Story Details
Reviewing the story that defines the brand is a good place to start. Is the “why” clear to customers, investors, employees and other stakeholders? By definition, fine-tuning means taking a deep dive into the details and making adjustments accordingly. Continue the process until each line item has been reviewed, adjusted and implemented. Measure the outcome. Repeat the process as needed. – Deborah Hightower, Deborah Hightower, Inc.
- Start With Quiet Time
If you’re looking to fine-tune your business statement, I always suggest starting with quiet time. Really home in and focus on listening to what is in your heart and mind. This can help you to determine what your intentions are and how you can move from there. Your business statement should be derived from the core values that make you who you are. – Jon Dwoskin, The Jon Dwoskin Experience
- Focus On Benefits Of The Benefits You Bring
Think benefit, benefit, benefit. Don’t focus on what you do or how you do it. An impactful business statement focuses on the benefit or impact you make. How does your business benefit others? What is the benefit of that benefit? For example, I train professionals in digital marketing. The benefit is they get better results. The benefit of that is they earn more profit and grow more quickly. – Krista Neher, Boot Camp Digital
- Use The 5W’s And 1H Model
I am a huge fan of using the 5W’s and 1H model (Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?). Do you have a clear answer to all of these questions? If the answer is “yes,” then great. Now you can move on to step two: Are the answers stated clearly and simply? Do they pass the five-year-old test? Would a small child be able to understand your statement and then successfully explain it in his own words? – Michele Cohen, Lead to Growth Coaching
- Determine Your Task And Purpose
Task and purpose, task and purpose, task and purpose—it sounds simple, but that makes it beautiful. When fine-tuning a business statement you need to determine what you do (your task) and why you do it (your purpose). No matter how eloquent your statement is, if those two components are not part of it, you will struggle with focus, mission creep and alignment. One more time—task and purpose. – JC Glick,Prodromos Leadership
- Look At Who You Are
Beyond ensuring there is a market need for their business product or service, I’d advise them to look at themselves. Aside from goals and impact, it’s who they are that matters. What qualities and values are reflective of how they live and do business? These touchstones will guide them and the people in their company to stand out, be different, and remain guided and “trued” by their vision. – Lisa Marie Platske, Upside Thinking, Inc.
This article was originally published on Forbes.com
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