Your business idea as a promise


Formulating your business idea in a clear and concise way can be extremely hard. It’s easy to fall in to the trap of being too general or trying to please everyone. Everyone who ever has tried to come up with an elevator pitch knows how hard it can be to summarize your business idea in one or a few sentences. Especially true is this for startups where the focus of the entire company can be in constant flux.

One way out of this trap is to imagine the business idea as a promise made to someone, preferably a specific person. The person can be made up (see marketing persona or archetype) but should of course be right for the intended market.

The important thing is that this person has a problem and you have the solution.

Imagine standing in front of this person while they are exposed to the problem your product is supposed to solve. Now, imagine putting your hand on the persons shoulder and promise that person to solve the problem. How would you describe that promise? What words would you use?

That’s your business idea.

If you’re having problem imaging this scenario then maybe your business idea isn’t as straightforward as it can be. Maybe your solving too many problems for too many people? Maybe your solving a made up problem that no one in the real world is exposed to? A large company can of course make many promises to many people, but a small startup should stick to one promise to one persona.

Formulating it as a promise is also good for morale. It becomes crystal clear that what you’re doing is helping someone solve a problem. Your making the world a better place! This is what entrepreneurs do: we solve problems. Startups, specifically, solve problems that no one thought about solving before.

So, the next time someone asks about your business idea, how about giving them a promise?

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