After we shocked our families with the message that we are cancelling our “save” and “well paid” jobs, we also must explain what we plan to do... explain our business idea. Also, we are preparing some one-pager and documents for our future customers. To convince a potential customer to read more (or even to get a chance to talk to him/her) and convince our families that we are not completely crazy, we need to be able to explain with just few words what we plan to do.
To explain in 3 minutes our business idea, technical aspects / features (analytics, big data, portal technology), the market segment we serve (micro financing) and the social community layer… this is almost “mission impossible”, at least challenging.
I also started to use an analogy and compared us with a shopping center (host). A shopping center allows all the individual shops to “come together” and to sell under one roof their products to customers. Such shopping centers connecting many individual shops with customers. This shopping center building like a portal between many-shops and many-customers, but they are not the seller themselves. We are doing something similar – just in the crowdfunding scene and just virtual. We connect the existing Crowdfunding platforms and building the solid portal (with additional services on top).
Another analogy to explain our business idea: Merge the business concept of bookings.com, amazon, wiki and Instagram – and assume they would work in the Crowdfunding business. The combination of those business concepts would generate
• Transparent overview and comparability between offerings (offerings from many sources / sellers)
• A platform where sellers and buyers find each other, communicate and share “likes”
• A place where the community can share thoughts, concerns, give feedback and ask for feedback
• A community which shares knowhow and knowledge with each other; and grow together
(Yes, these are very big companies with a lot of money. Yes, we don’t have money and we are just a small startup… I am just looking for ways to explain what we try to establish… I am not comparing company sizes!)
Of course those analogies triggered also questions and we did several cycles with friends and our families... This was great because we were confronted with many different types of questions. Technical ones, in regards practicality, customer value (if they also could become customers and why), even about regulations etc.
Business idea – think it through and challenge it
Being able to condense a business idea into something “digestible” forces you to think through your business idea ”end to end”. Also, it built the basis for many additional questions, which brings you further and gives confidence. It helped us a lot to become much more precise in our wording, terms and in our vision.
Dear friends and dear family many thanks for your patience to listen to us (again and again and again… and still doing!)
P.S. These 3 minutes technique is called elevator pitch. The idea is that you can explain in few minutes (like what it takes usually in an elevator) a business idea to another person who is together with you in the elevator. I am now a fan of stairs...