Your pitch deck and other documentation are vital to taking your company to the next level. You will invest time and resources into crafting messaging that represents your past and present as a firm in the attempt to launch into an even brighter future. With so much riding on this process, it is vital to steer clear of the pitfalls and common presentation mistakes that most often beleaguer startups in this endeavor.
Opt for Clarity
Your investors want to get a clear picture of your organization, and you get one opportunity to do that. This is why it’s important to avoid common presentation mistakes. Many have a busy schedule and may turn your proposal down based on the fact that they are not presented with the details that would best help them make a decision. It is best to follow industry standards to receive the proper information in a way that is expected.
This needs to include your company overview and your vision for your products, services, and business as a whole. You’ll be introducing the team, the problem you hope to solve, your solution, and showing where there is space in the market for you. Your product, customers, tech, and your competition must be outlined, as well as current successes you have found, and your business model for moving forward.
Your company overview needs to succinctly tell your story in summary form, usually in about 4-6 bullet points, giving potential backers a quick overall view of who you are, the problem you solve, and your experience with clients.
Financial institutions and venture capitalists are concerned with one thing: your bottom line. You need to show them that your idea has real world marketability and that people are willing to plunk down their cold hard cash to purchase your product or service. This cannot be overstated enough.
You want to articulate the opportunity you are offering by allowing them to partner with you at this stage, and they need to see the components that can make your company successful. In order to be persuasive, you convince them you have a legitimate customer base from which you can pool perspective leads and turn these into paying clients. You’ll also want to show how you can position these sales into repeat buyers.
Show any traction you have already experienced in a slide, and this can include your early pilot programs or testimonials of dealings with customers. List pertinents related to your revenue and important financial metrics, and you’ll also want to discuss your network and how you intend to leverage that. Any prior press and promotion that has helped to generate a buzz should be mentioned along with your current progress made on product development. In short, you’ll want to prove your idea is not just workable but that it also exists in a tangible form.
You’ll want to choose an appropriate length for your pitch deck, making it no longer than 15 or 20 slides in length. If that does not provide you with enough room, you can also include an addendum where you may go into greater depth.
It is also essential that you put in the work to make sure your finished model looks professional. This means using quality graphics and layout, attractive and appropriate fonts and titles for your slides that are well thought out. You’ll want to use a consistent theme that is current with trending styles, and you’ll want to refine your message and use charts and diagrams that display elegance and simplicity.
Fidelman & Co. specializes in management consulting, presentation advisory, and financial modeling. We focus on building businesses alongside entrepreneurs and investors. Contact us today for more information about what we can do for you.