Normally investors will not spend half a day just to go through your 100+ pages business plan. Whereas a business plan is undoubtedly an important step of a capital raise preparation, there is a more concise way to present a unique business concept — a powerful pitch deck.
Ok, so, should you just create slides in a presentation template and the job is done? — oh, come on, people! — not quite accurate.
The below list is not an exhaustive but absolute minimum that any solid pitch deck should cover. If yours does not, please, do not show it to anyone.
Punchy cover & title
There is no second chance for the first impression. That is why make sure the cover page and intro title capture attention and set the right “mood” for further reading.
This page gives an overview of your business concept, target market, as well what are you planning to do in the particular capital raise. Just 30 seconds of reading decides whether a potential investor would spend a further 15–20 minutes of his life to read it to the end.
Everything must have a purpose, so does the business. In most cases, a business concept is expected to provide a solution for an issue or gap existing in the market. Formulate the problem before offering a solution.
When a founder knows exactly what is to be solved, here comes a solution. Promote how it works and unique selling points, at the same time do not oversell the concept, people get when there are more words than real value.
Do not assume an investor to be an expert in your industry. Always bring some light: What is your target market? What is the structure of it? Who are the main players there? What are the latest trends?
Nowadays it’s impossible to find a business that will have zero competitors, however, it’s not a turning down point. You are not expected to go without competition, you are expected to be much better than everyone.
Not every company, especially a start-up, has a broad hierarchy of people. The absolute must-have is the team with complementing skills and backgrounds, even if two members are developing the company.
The business might not show the constantly growing revenue to date, though it’s great if it does, but it has to create interest from potential customers. If customers do not want it, then investors won’t.
No financial model is ever 100% accurate, same as there is no way an investment will be made based on projections only. However, a financial forecast shows how well you understand the company’s development, costs, risks, and customer acquisition. Be realistic and honest.
Finally, please have mercy on your readers and care for a perfect design.
Obviously, there are many more that a pitch deck may include, and structure varies depending on a particular capital raise round.
Should you struggle with any of these on your way to create an engaging document, we are here to cooperate!