Planning your business

How to write your business elevator pitch

An elevator pitch is about showing how you can make your customers’ lives better – in 90 seconds or less. There’s a real art to crafting an elevator pitch. This guide will show you how.

Reading time: 4 minutes

In this article

What makes you, you?

Imagine your business on a speed date, where you have a mere moment to make an enticing first impression. When people are in front of you, you need to get their attention and you need to hold it for the full 90 seconds. You need to spark interest in your customers so they automatically turn to you as their first choice.

In your elevator pitch, you introduce yourself, explain your business and what it offers in a compelling way, and make a connection with your (potential) customer – who’s hopefully hanging on every word.

An elevator pitch is deceptively complex, but it’s worth the effort. If you can explain your unique value simply and effectively, your customers will understand exactly how your business can help them. Here’s how to get started.

Define your unique value proposition

The exercise of crafting an elevator pitch will help you get really clear about your proposition. It starts by defining your value proposition. If your unique selling point can’t be explained in 90 seconds, it might be too complicated for customers to understand – and could stop them from connecting with your brand, ultimately losing you sales.

Analysing the following will enable you to paint a clear picture of how your business is different, and better, with a snapshot statement – known in marketing as a ‘value proposition’.

Set yourself apart from everyone else

Analyse your strengths. List all the benefits your business offers to customers. It might be value for money, quicker or friendlier service, better technical expertise, unique products, a larger range, a simpler way of doing things, convenience, reliability, exclusivity, a better location, strategic alliances, or something else.

Get to know your customers

Find out what your customers’ lives are like. Understand what their habits are, what they believe in, what challenges they face, what they dream about, and who their friends are. Think about the main reason they came to you and nobody else. Find out what their experience was like. Learn what they think about you after doing business with you.

If you don’t have many customers yet, think about potential customers.

Show how you improve people’s lives

By now you know what sets your business apart from everyone else. You know your customer, or at least have some idea. Now it’s time to connect the two. Link what sets your business apart to solving a problem or improving a situation in your customers’ lives. In other words, show the value you can bring.

Write your value proposition statement

Once you’ve bolted down what makes your business unique and valuable, you can write your value proposition statement – a snapshot that sums up your business in a nutshell. 

Your value proposition should be:

  • Direct – Tell people the specific results they will get. Your customers will be motivated to come to you if they clearly believe the benefits you bring outweigh the cost. 
  • Confident – Try not to use words like ‘wee’, ‘little’ ‘small’, ‘only’, or’ just’ in describing your business. They can undermine the benefit you bring.
  • Clear – Your statement should be easy to grasp by the average reader (even if you’re targeting a niche customer). People should be able to read and understand it in a few seconds.

Use a template

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. There are many different templates online to help get you started writing your statement. Here are two examples you could use.

Example 1

For [target customers], who [statement of need], our [product or service] does [statement of benefit].

For New Zealand beef exporters who struggle with changeable regulations in Indonesia, our company cuts through the red tape quickly and helps you connect with key people.

Example 2

We can help [target customers] do [statement of need] by doing [statement of benefit].

Our company helps businesses keep their staff for longer by increasing wellness and resilience in the workplace.

Write your elevator pitch

You’re now ready to write the elevator pitch that will sell your business to the world. Start with your value proposition statement and flesh this out into 2-3 persuasive paragraphs. Don’t be tempted to over-explain, remember, the idea is to spark interest in 90 seconds or less, not tell your customer every last detail.

Popular planning your business articles

Business plan template

Creating a business plan might seem daunting – but it doesn’t have to be. Our business plan template will help you create your own business plan from scratch.

Important information

We’ve provided this material as a complimentary service. It is prepared based on information and sources ANZ believes to be reliable. ANZ cannot warrant its accuracy, completeness or suitability for your intended use. The content is information only, is subject to change, and isn’t a substitute for commercial judgement or professional advice, which you should seek before relying on it. To the extent the law allows, ANZ doesn’t accept any responsibility or liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage arising from any act or omissions by any person relying on this material.

Please talk to us if you need financial advice about a product or service. See our financial advice provider disclosure at

Was this content helpful?