To be a great startup you need funding and raising money can be very challenging. No matter at what stage you are or whether you are a first time entrepreneur or an experienced founder of many startups, the whole process of making the perfect pitch can be really unnerving. Especially when it is your first round of financing, the excitement and nervousness of making the perfect pitch can take a toll. While the essentials of pitching is to craft the story while you paint the vision for the investors, there are certain ways in which you can simplify and get the perfect pitch deck that leads you to your goal of ‘selling’.
While there are many pointers and tips that will help to build up your pitch deck, below six pointers are those that should never be ignored.
Think Big and Have a Big Vision
No matter if you are a first-time entrepreneur, you need to think big and have a compelling vision of where you want to take your company. You will be competing with other entrepreneurs who might have similar ideas but if you have a gripping vision that takes your company to the next level then that is something that will get the investors excited. No investor would want to give their money to a company that doesn’t know how to expand and grow with the vision.
Know your financials
When someone is giving you their money, they of course deserve to know what you will do with it. Your ideas might be great but if you do not present a clear plan of how the money will be used to drive a successful company into profit then all your effort will be fruitless. It is important to have a detailed financial plan for at least the initial years that showcases your expenses, revenue growth, margins and potential profit. A financial plan also helps in taking away the risk factors that the investors might see in your business model. So the better outlined financial forecast you present, the better will be your chances to seal the deal.
Have a Simple Short Deck
Remember the 10/20/30 rule of PowerPoint, where you present 10 slides in not more than 20 minutes and the font on each slide is not smaller than 30 points. This is definitely the time to stick with the rule. Well of course, the number of slides need not strictly be 10 but the number definitely should not go way beyond it. Any supporting data that you must include can be added into the appendix while all the information on the idea, team, vision and metrics should stay in your main deck.
Don’t Ignore Your Competitors
Don’t make the mistake to side-line your competitors or even worse deny the competition altogether. Investors trust when you are aware of the surroundings and understand your competition well. Elaborate on the competitive landscape as you highlight why your product is good and not why your competitor’s is bad.
Talk about your team
All the best companies in the world have been built by amazing people and not with capital so put some focus on your team and their skills. As you and the investors acknowledge the competition, your team’s talents and contributions are the one that will win you over the edge. It is good to highlight a strong team, but if you are just a handful of first timers then resonate with the fact that you are willing to hire and build a team that will work towards the vision.
Have a quick Q&A session once you wrap up your pitch. These questions help the potential investor get utmost clarity about everything. The important part here is to make notes of the feedback you get so that you can work on it and tweak your pitch deck to make it better. The more feedback you incorporate the lesser will be the number of questions you get after your every pitch.
Keeping the above in mind, it is the right time to start or refine your pitch deck because as Peter Drucker once said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it”, and for getting your perfect pitch deck you definitely need to create it.
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