Seeking Funding? Here Are Five Tips for Creating an Effective Pitch Deck
A bootstrapped startup with a successful business idea and a promising track record needs an infusion of funds to take its vision to the next level. While there are many potential investors in the market, the founders have the uphill task of convincing them that investing will accrue results in the long term. With the odds stacked against them, what can entrepreneurs do to get the funding they want? Statistics indicate that investors fund only 1 out of every 10 pitches they listen to. Many startups often find themselves in a similar situation when they reach the funding stage.
The answer to the question above lies in crafting a great pitch deck that can not only make heads turn but also ensure that your venture is funded. A pitch deck is a presentation showcasing a company’s product/service, the size of the market, target market, demographics, business model, marketing strategy, competition, team, funding amount and timelines, and the exit for investors. Considering that raising capital can be a difficult task, the founders must ensure that their pitch is compelling and interesting. Here are the five tips important for creating an effective pitch deck that will get you funded:
# Why You?
The three main things you should ask yourself honestly and convey clearly in a pitch deck are:
What pain points of the customers to your product/service address
What's your market size today and its growth potential
Why are you going to be the next billion dollar company and not someone else or your competitors
# Narrate A Story
This is one of the best ways to hold the attention of investors and get them to listen. Only having complex spreadsheets, graphs, numbers, and valuations can make for a boring presentation and make your audience disinterested. The idea behind your startup, the pathos, and vision can be best explained only by you -- and everyone loves an engaging anecdote! Craft a good story to communicate your pitch and the idea behind your startup to make your pitch memorable and different.
# Know Your Investors
A little background research always helps before pitching the idea to potential investors. Anticipate what kind of questions you may need to field during and after your presentation considering the expertise of your investors. Doing your homework can save you a lot of embarrassment and ensure that investors take you seriously.
# Be Simple, Focused, And Concise
Avoid business jargon; you do not need this to catch attention. Keep the language simple and understandable, include business objectives, and how funding can help expand your vision. Time is the most valuable asset for investors and if you convey respect for their time, they are more likely to be assured of your ideas and requirements. Focus on the core components only.
# Set Realistic Timelines
Businesses work on deadlines and therefore, your pitch should convey only realistic timelines. Return on investment is a key metric for investors and whether or not you receive funding will depend largely on your revenue model and how you plan to implement it. Mention the sales done thus far and the revenue earned. Next comes the plan on how you aim at sustaining and increasing this revenue with the funding. Most importantly, the pitch should reflect your passion and enthusiasm towards the business and scale up. Investors love entrepreneurs who crawl out of their comfort zone.
Some Other Things To Remember
Ten minutes are all that you need to sell the idea. If the investors are convinced within that time, they are more likely to consider putting their money in.
First impression matters – make sure you dress smart, be punctual and make your presence felt and be confident while answering questions.
If you are not sure about the answer to a question, don't shy away from saying you will get back with the required information.
Make sure core founding members are present and on the same page. Always go through the pitch together before presenting.
Before the final presentation, ensure that you practice the pitch a few times. Master the key points and be ready to field any kind of questions.
Keep the above points in mind and give your best to the pitch when your startup seeks funding. Do not get dejected by rejection. The difference between those who make it and those who don’t lie in persistence.