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If you’re trying to bring outside investors into your business, you’ll probably need to prepare a “pitch deck.” This is a digital presentation that provides a succinct, compelling description of your business, its solution and the benefits of the investment opportunity. While each pitch deck should be tailored to the specific company, the goal remains the same: to capture investors’ attention and show them your business is a compelling investment.
The elements of a good pitch deck
You’ll need to understand what characteristics will make your pitch deck most effective. Here are some useful guidelines:
Keep the deck to between 10 to 12 slides. The goal is to provide an overview of the opportunity and whet investors’ interest. If needed, you can follow up with additional details.
Be succinct and comprehensive about your business. State the company’s name, its mission and value proposition, and the amount of money you’d like to raise. Help potential investors understand, at a high level, what your business does and how it helps customers.
Identify the problem your company solves. Explain the gap in the market you’re addressing. Discuss it in a real, relatable way so potential investors can quickly grasp the challenge.
Describe your target market. This includes your target market’s size, composition and forecasted growth. Resist the temptation to define the market so broadly that it includes almost everyone, because this tends to come across as unrealistic. Defining and targeting a specific segment of the market is usually more effective.
Provide greater detail on your solution. What does your business do, and how does it improve customers’ lives? Why is the market ready for your solution now?
Outline your business model. That is, how will your business make money? What will you charge customers for your solution? Are you a premium provider or is this a budget-minded solution?
Highlight your performance to date. If you already have sales, let investors know your track record by including graphs of several years of sales, expenses, customers and net income. If you have an enthused social media following, note that as well.
Summarize your marketing approach. Even with a spectacular solution, attracting customers on an ongoing basis often is challenging. Describe the tactics you’ll employ to garner attention and expand your customer base. Identify the sales channels likely to be most effective.
Identify your leadership team. Who are they and what knowledge and experience do they bring? Execution often is just as critical as the idea when building or growing a company, so investors will want to know why these individuals are the right ones to steer the company.
Include projections of sales, profit and your customer base. Rather than including detailed financial statements, it’s generally more effective to use charts, graphs and other visuals to show forecasted sales and income for several years into the future. Your projected performance should realistically follow from any historical performance. Predicting a huge, sudden spike in sales, without a solid reason, undermines credibility.
Define your competition. What other companies are addressing this problem, even if not all that effectively? Let investors know how you differ from them, and why customers will choose your solution rather than the other options available.
Describe how you’ll use the funds you’ll raise. Show investors how their investment will allow you to advance toward the goals you’ve laid out for the business. Provide details about how the money will be used.
Other steps to success
For some businesses, it will make sense to have a few other slides on hand. For instance, if your company’s technology is highly specialized, you may want to include a slide that shows how it works. If your company is positioned to become an acquisition target, you may want to note that.
And of course, before making your presentation, practice. You’ll likely be presenting it to individuals with expertise in investing, sales or public speaking. Your Belfint professional can help you develop a pitch deck that captures investors’ interest and helps your company attract the funding that will enable it to thrive.