“What does your company do?” Keep your answer short and sweet.

Nobody knows your business better than you. But can you explain it? There’s no doubt that you’ve been asked hundreds of times what your company does, even if it’s by your family and friends. The day will come, however, when potential investors, business partners, and customers start asking what your business does. The last thing you want is to confuse them.

Startups tend to deliver a foggy message as to what their business does. They overlook the simple idea that sparked their business venture and lose the appeal of those listening. Entrepreneurs know everything about their business. All the ups, downs, and technicality involved in their business is interesting and intriguing, but it clutters the core idea. A simple explanation is appreciated by those in and out of the business community. Don’t leave people saying, “I have no idea what your company does.”

Here are 4 tips to articulate a clear and simple explanation:

  1. Cut out the fluff.

Keep your explanation short. Too much garble can confuse your listener. The clearer the message, the easier is it for the listener to understand. A good rule of thumb: “You should able to explain your startup in one sentence,” The Next Web said.

  1. Too much lingo.

Dumb it down. Avoid using business savvy jargon and get to the nit and grit of the idea. I think it’s safe to say that if the word falls in a startup glossary, then you’ll lose your listener.

  1. What’s the twist?

Let your listener know what makes you different from other companies or products. Are you solving a problem? Why would customers support your business? What makes you better than your competition?  “Don’t ever say you don’t have competition,” Entrepreneur says. Listeners want to know what the point of your startup is.

  1. Be Confident.

Let them know why you’re in business. What drove your passion and why are you the best person for this business? Confidence is contagious. If you’re confident in your business, then so will your listeners.

Before branding, marketing, or pitching your business, startups are most successful when they can communicate a simple, clear, and quick explanation of their business idea. If people don’t understand your business then what’s the point? Remember – it’s always better to leave your listeners intrigued and asking questions rather than leaving them lost in translation.

Andrea LaBudie
Marketing & Communications Intern
Macomb-OU INCubator

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