Getting Ready for Investment: Your Pitch Deck
Having started a new business you may have already heard of a ‘pitch deck’, but if you haven’t, don’t worry; it is simply a brief presentation, often using slide-based software (such as PowerPoint, Prezi or Keynote to name a few), that will succinctly explain your business plan to any potential investors.
Whilst there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the content of your pitch deck, you may want to have slides that cover the following:
- Introduction / Vision: Introduce your business. Try and focus the mind of the potential investors for the rest of the presentation; let them know why you are in front of them and what you are trying to do.
- Problem: What problem(s) are you trying to resolve? Try to ground the issue(s) to something tangible that potential investors may be experiencing themselves.
- Market: Help give potential investors context for the opportunity in front of them once the ‘problem’ is solved. Consider setting out the size of your target market and providing estimations on how your business is expected to grow.
- Solution: Very simply, explain how you are going to solve the ‘problem’.
- Competition: Who else is trying to solve the ‘problem’? Consider setting out a few of your key competitors, what solution they are offering and how your solution is different (and better(!)).
- Advantages: What makes your solution special in comparison to the competition? If you have unique IP or other completive advantages, consider explaining how those advantages are protected from copycats.
- Product / Service: How does your product / service work? There are multiple options you can use to demonstrate your product / service, from screenshots to a video of the product in action.
Business Model: How does your product / service create revenue? Consider explaining how that revenue breaks down into hard figures and forecasting your projected revenue based upon those figures.
- Team: You can have the greatest idea in the world but if you don’t have people to execute that idea it will be harder to get off the ground. Remember the old adage, people buy people. Potential investors are likely to want to see a brief insight into the people in your team, their background, their role in the business and what makes them special.
- Traction: This is all about proving potential and scalability. Consider demonstrating the size of your user-base, revenue, margin, profit (if any to date); basically, the extent of your growth so far.
- Investment: What do you need to put everything that came before into motion? How much money do you need and how much equity are you willing to give up? Consider setting out the proposed budget as potential investors will likely want to know how their money is going to be spent. It may also be useful to consider whether any potential investment is SEIS / EIS eligible, as this is particularly attractive to potential investors who are individuals.
- Conclude: Try to summarise your idea in a couple of lines or leave the potential investors with a question that is thought-provoking. It also doesn’t hurt to provide your contact details.
When putting your pitch deck together there are also some overarching points that you should consider that will help your pitch deck stand out from the rest.
Less is More
Try to avoid any temptation of overloading the slides with information, the focus should be on the visuals of the slide (avoid conventional bullet points) and not necessarily how much content can be rammed on to one slide. Your pitch deck should be more about selling the story of the business and you can add in any minutiae at the time. However, your pitch deck should still contain enough information to stand alone should anyone come to review it at a later date.
You should spend some time researching into successful past pitch decks to see what they did well (and what they didn’t) to help inspire you when creating your pitch deck. Be sure to avoid plagiarising though as it will just cause your pitch deck to blend into the background.
Let us help you get this right: we’d be happy to review your pitch deck and you can even come and practice your pitch in front of us if you like.
It’s a Work in Progress
Once you have finalised your pitch deck the work is not over. It should be regularly updated over time to account for how you business has changed. Should you be unsuccessful on your first attempt you should evaluate how your pitch deck can be amended and improved for the next time.
Let us help you get it right; we’d be happy to review your pitch deck and you can even come and practice your pitch in front of us if you like. If you're interested in this you can contact Kirsty Simmonds or you can give us a call on 0345 070 6000.