Preparing your Pitch Deck
As a business owner venturing into the world of funding there are a number of processes and ‘must-do’s’ that you’ll undoubtedly face along the way. Up there with the most important of these inevitabilities is the pitch deck, and the sooner you master it, the better. So, first things first…what is a pitch deck? To put it simply, it’s a short presentation used to provide your potential investors with a brief overview of your business plan. It can be used in a number of situations, whether that’s during face-to-face or online meetings with said investors, or in your initial contact with them via email. However it’s used, the effectiveness of your pitch deck will have a big impact on the success of the opening stages of communication with investors, making it vital that you get it right.
The Core Ingredients
Over the years we’ve seen thousands of businesses come and go, and with each of them a different pitch deck – some good and some not so good; and whilst these companies were by no means short of a great idea or two, in the end it was their ability to pitch these ideas successfully that really held them back. We’ve created this handy little cheat sheet that’ll gives you the core ingredients needed for your pitch. Whether you’re after a loan, grant, equity or debt finance, following the steps below and tailoring them to your business will ensure you’re giving yourself the best possible shot at securing the finance your great idea deserves!
The below sets out the main elements when presenting your business. It is really important to remember that this deck is often seen at a fleeting glance or skimmed through quickly, so you need to make sure you are concise and present the information in as clear as way as possible. And most importantly, please state what your business is within the first two slides; it is remarkable how many businesses fail to do this!
As you’ll see from the attached pdf, we’ve arranged the template into must have (M), should have (S) and nice to have (N). Here is a list of the core 15 ingredients we’d expect to see addressed in a pitch deck:
- Company Info (N) – Name of the company, mission statement, logo, contact details of promoters
- What is the business (M) – Explain in no more than two sentences what the business does
- Problem (M) – What problem does your business solve for your customers
- Solution (M) – How does your business solve that problem
- Unfair Advantages (N) – What advantages do you, your team or your product have that your competitors can’t easily replicate
- Demo (S) – If it your product is demo-able, include a video/animation of it in this section
- Why Now (N) – Why should investors invest right now and why is the opportunity so pertinent right now
- Market (S) – What is the size of the total addressable market you are competing in
- Competition (M) – What are the other businesses that operate in your sector/space and how does your business compare to those
- Go To Market (N) – What is your go to market approach in terms of sales and marketing
- Business Model (M) – How do you make money
- Product (S) – How does your website/platform/service operate
- Forecast (S) – What are your financial projections for the next 3-5 years. Include your financials from last year as a comparison if you are post revenue.
- Team/Management (M) – Who are the people behind the team and who are your advisors
- Investment Status – What is your current roadmap, how much investment are you seeking and what is your valuation
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