Don’t worry, you’re not on your own. Often a new business idea can be complex or the system behind it is, or maybe there is more than one target market and you don’t know which one to delve into first when asked?
Everyone who is starting a new venture feels the pressure of being able to convey their idea to someone when they ask. But there is a format for being able to do this and you’ll breathe a sigh of relief because 70% of it is all down to key steps in preparation and practice.
It was Einstein that said that genius is making complex ideas simple. When you can break a really difficult technological problem down so that people can understand it quickly and easily without feeling as though they’re being patronised, then you’re onto a winner. That’s the ultimate aim.
So grab your pen and paper and create a list that first includes the problem you’re aiming to solve and your USP’s on a really high level, global thinking scale. Then we’re going to scale it down into a bitesized chunk. Take Whatsapp for example. They could have said:
‘Whatsapp is a uniquely coded app that enables the transfer of data and messages via satellite and cell contracts between multiple people, groups and organisations whilst storing their data within the cloud.’
Would Whatsapp have received such a huge response to their concept with the above, compared to the following:
‘Enabling friends to keep in touch with free realtime messages, images via your cell phone.’
So the thinking, tech and coding behind Whatsapp is obviously complex, the actual problem you’re seeking to solve could be described in one sentence.
TIP: think high level about the problem you’re solving and not the tech behind it and create a one sentence sum up, often referred to as the elevator pitch.
Next, you need to expand your idea. But this is where a bit of your intuition comes in – you need to garner whether you’re having a conversation with a prospective investor, techie or consumer, or all three!
If it’s an investor then you need to channel your next sentence with more business talk that illustrates the value, for example:
For someone to view a message from a friend, they need to download the app. By placing the focus on our marketing of the ‘group chat’ USP enables us to scale our business globally in a quick time frame.
If someone is more technically orientated then you need to be able to describe the tech elements clearly and if someone is a consumer, then we’re back to imagining and extending the USP’s specific to them.
Feel like you’re on USP overload?
So you’ve got someone’s attention but do you often find that you have too many USP’s floating around your head and you’re starting to sweat about which one is crucial to talk about. Surely they’re all as important as each other?
No. Not at this point. Think about it this way: if you were on a date and spilled out everything all at once it would be overwhelming, right? Well it’s the same principle here.
You have to keep giving out tidbits of information. This is where your listening skills are really going to be needed. The more you can find out about the person you’re chatting with, the more you can pick up on specific pain points that might be bothering them that they need a product to fill – yours…
If they’re not talking much, then you can change that by asking questions around the topic of your idea. For example, at GoShow Mark might ask about the number of athletes that a brand sponsors worldwide or locally. Naturally this question leads in nicely to then asking how the brand creates and maximises footage from their events…
Memorise some questions that pertain to the customer, the marketing, the back end development or investment in the market as a whole? Asking pertinent questions and listening to the answers enables you to match up potential USP’s which serve to benefit the person. Listen more than you speak and you’ll come away with more information and potentially a contact to hit up after the moment has passed.
These steps are the basic ones to take when discussing your idea and yourself. However, do you want to become a business conversation pro?
1. Good, grab your pen and paper again. This time make sure you list out how each USP works and benefits both the business and consumer side.
2. Next, spend some time linking your USP’s to current global or industry issues – do they solve the problem on a large or small scale as part of the mix? Make sure when you’re doing this that you’re sourcing the information from verifiable and bona fide sources. Wikipedia or someone’s personal blog will not cut it.
3. Once you’ve got answers for the above, repeat the exact same process and come up with answers about your past, your experience, and how you came to have the idea in the first place.
The more you feel prepared, and the more you practice your speaking the more natural it will feel, especially when you’re put on the spot. You know you have a speech prepared that will convey yourself and your idea in the best possible light. That brings a confidence that shines through when talking to people.
Now read how to be our best Founder…
Cherry has worked in branding, copywriting, communications, and PR for over 14 years, and is Chief Wordsmith at Startup Giants and our main point of contact for journalists and editors.