Planning, Startups, Stories


Tim Berry on business planning, starting and growing your business, and having a life in the meantime.

Can You Do It: Business Pitch in 140 Characters 2

Brevity is good. Brevity for business pitches is good too. The idea of pitching a new business in a single 140-character tweet (pardon the expression) is intriguing to me. Do you think you could do that?

Celebrity entrepreneur Richard Branson is pitching a Twitter pitch contest as part of a startup training program he’s involved in.

That idea’s intriguing, but not completely new. I thought I’d heard of something like that before so I Googled it and discovered that none other than my friend and world-renowned blogger Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends (@smallbiztrends on Twitter) won a Twitter business plan contest last year, with this 140-character business plan:

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And the runners-up were pretty good too, in my opinion:

  • zackgonzales @hoovers pink eraser scentd cologne in pink parallelogram bottle, distro thru urban outfitters, archie mcphee, and scholastic book fairs
  • AndyBeard @hoovers Business plan by tweet? Sim Startup (All formats – I am sure I could get Activision to publish)

I think every business owner, operator, and manager should be able to boil the core of a business down into 140 characters. Can you? Can you do that for your business?

Here are some of my favorite businesses, in 140 characters (and, to keep it honest and because I included that “hard sell” jab above, I’m skipping Palo Alto Software and/or our products). All of these are less than 140 characters. Most of them leave 20 or more characters for retweeting:

  • Trunk Club: good-looking men’s clothing with personal online service for men who need clothes but hate shopping.
  • Cafe Yumm: Really healthy really tasty fast food with slow food values in Oregon. Franchisor too.
  • Mini-Cooper-S: bite-sized transportation for one or two with a kicker: unbelievably fun to drive.
  • Klymit: simple knob insulation adjustment in high-tech sports clothing.
  • Zapproved: Add-on magic to untangle email threads making group decision making faster, easier and more accountable.
  • Java Juice: easily transportable high-quality great-tasting condensed coffee for coffee lovers who travel or backpack. Just add hot water.
  • In Context Solutions: amazing 3-D retail modeling revolutionizing consumer in-store on-shelf research in an online virtual model.

And that, doing it for these seven companies I happen to like, was fun and easy. What would your 140-character pitch look like? Could you tell your company from your competitors, with that limit on the text?

(Image by Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten via Flickr)

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  • http://www.stratgrow.com Strategic Growth Advisors

    Tim, thanks for the nice post — as always.

    Creating a pitch using just 140 characters may sound tough but I think a difficult task such as this one can be perfected through constant practice.

    Hey, I got a Twitter account! That would be a great place to practice my 140-word pitch!

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