Many startups seek financial aid to set up their businesses. This leads them to Angel Investors pitch their business ideas. However, because these investors are not running a charity organization, funny and weightless stories will not earn you a penny from them. Data will. Hence, the need for a compelling Pitch Deck.
What is a Pitch Deck?
A pitch deck is a concise presentation that startups create to lay out their business plans to investors. Slides are often used to design a pitch deck so that investors grab a visual understanding of the company's business plan, goals, the problems they hope to solve, how they want to achieve them, how they plan to spend investors' money, ROI, etc.
Investing in a startup is quite the risk so pitching to investors is one intense process. If it must be done at all, it must be done well.
Why is a pitch deck important?
Say you are walking down the street, and someone walks up to you and asks you to buy his bicycle. I can guess a few things that will run through your mind - Do I need a bicycle? What for? Do I have off-budget money to spend on one? What purpose would it serve? Is it worth the money et Cetera? But if the bicycle owner could convince you by giving you valid reasons, who knows, you might be a new bicycle owner at the end of the day or month.
The sole objective of a Pitch Deck is to prove to investors that your startup is worth their money. Of course, they will not sign the cheque immediately, but they are likely to accept your invitation to another meeting if your pitch was successful.
Types of Pitch deck
A pitch deck can be sent via email or in-person depending on the objective it hopes to serve. An email pitch will contain an overview of the company's business plan. This is done in the form of texts. A physical pitch deck usually takes the form of a PowerPoint Presentation. That said, there are several types of pitch decks, but these three do stand out.
A Startup Pitch: This type of pitch deck should take not more than ten slides. It should include the business plan, problem, solution, market size, team, financial model, exit strategy amongst others.
A-Team Pitch Deck: No investor will trust a mediocre with his money. In this type of pitch deck, a company needs to establish that the team members are professionals who are experts in their fields. Pronouncing their potential is a way to gain the investors' trust. This should include an elevator pitch, the accomplishments of each team member, the business traction, target market, competitive advantage, and funding.
Twitter Pitch Deck: This is usually a one-sentence pitch. A founder is likely to use this pitch at a function or an informal setting where he has less than 10 seconds to pitch a business. Most founders would use the comparison method. Here, the startup being pitched is compared with the best company in another industry. The founder should be able to summarize a business overview in a punchy line- "It's the Forbes of XYZ."
What should be in your pitch deck
Introduction The first slide is usually an introduction to the pitch deck. This is where the business terms and goals are clearly explained.
Problem Slide This slide should explain the problems that your target market has and how your product or service will help solve them.
Solution Slide This slide should contain the solutions to the specific problems identified in their research. This is where your storytelling skill comes in. Give a practical example of how you hope to solve the problems.
Target Market Slide Every business has a target market that it hopes to serve. This and the market size should be part of a pitch deck.
Traction Slide This slide is aimed towards eliminating fears in your investors. It should show your business growth over the months, revenue generated, and the milestones covered.
Marketing and Sales Strategy Slide How do you plan to reach your target market and through what medium? What campaign or advert type will connect you to them?
Competition Slide This is the point where you introduce your unique value proposition. What sets you apart from your competitors?
Team Slide Do you have the best hands-on deck? Investors are likely to lose interest if the team members and co-founders are not capable of handling the business.
This slide should present how well the company has handled its finances over the years. A visual representation of the income and revenue, as well as projected growth, will put the investors at ease.
This slide presents the amount of money that the company needs to fund a project and how it will be spent.
How do you create an impressive pitch deck?
Create a deck that would appeal to potential investors. Presentation tools like PowerPoint, Google, or Canva would make your deck organized and formal. Keep the colors minimal, you do not want to distract your audience by having too much on each slide.
Be clear and concise both in your words and verbal presentation. Remember that pitching is a serious business. Engage your investors and tell stories but avoid irrelevant jokes and comments.
Use visual information such as infographics, pie charts, images, etc. and figures where necessary. Too many texts are not advisable when pitching in person.
Do not overburden your investors with too many stats and information. Go straight to the point. You will get another chance with them.
Be prepared, go through your pitch deck over and over. Be confident in your approach and ready to answer questions. You should encourage them to ask questions. It shows that you have a clear understanding of your business, and your presentation was not a theory you crammed.
Startup founders should be careful when presenting their pitch deck. Do not get carried away by focusing on the business and target market only. Investors will not buy into a pitch that does not add any value to them. Therefore, it is important to state what they stand to benefit I.e. Return on Investment (ROI).