The company is registered, the office space is leased and you even have a front office executive.
Congratulations! You are now a true-blue, 100% genuine entrepreneur.
Now it’s time to get down to business. As soon as the office pooja flowers wither, you get down to brass tacks and start working on growing your business. The first order of the day – get funding, get investors.
These days every self-respecting company has a beautiful pitch deck ready from day one. I am sure you have one too, right? I can bet you have slaved weeks building an investor pitch deck that’s quirky, interesting and impressive, in short, PERFECT.
But is it really? Have you ever wondered what the VC sitting on the other side of the desk thinks of your painstakingly-put-together investor pitch deck?
Well, you can stop wondering now. We had an informal chat with some investors and gleaned some great points from our talks. Read on!
A little background – What’s exactly is an investor pitch deck? Fundamentally, it’s a quick overview or an introduction to your business. Its job is to quickly lay out the company’s vision and strategy and acquaint people with your product/service.
Always open on a high note
Investors sit through hundreds of presentations every month and most of them tend to make up their minds really quickly. Therefore, it is critical to have a couple of high-level summary slides right at the beginning. What you need is the essence of your company distilled in two slides – the vision, the service/product, the business plan – laid out concisely and impressively.
Clear and concise information
Investors are busy people and most of them have their own businesses to run, so they really have don’t have the time to or the energy to sift through complicated data. You have to give them quick, clear facts and exactly the most important information – make your investor pitch deck concise and clear, cut out every single detail that’s not crucial.
Include a Demo
Videos work! They really do make a difference – 4 times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. Investors are no different! If you have a good, short video detailing your product then its a good idea to embed it into your investor pitch deck.
A bit like this.
Investors understand numbers and love seeing data. Make sure to back your company’s vision with lots of data-backed figures and graphs. Lay out Financials openly – how much capital you have, what you need, future projections of what you are expecting to make – it’s always best to be upfront about commercial details.
If you have solid numbers on the reach of your product, market share or can put a number to your future earnings, then go ahead and display it boldly.
Problem and Solution
What are you offering that doesn’t already exist in the market? How is your product any different? Why should people buy what you have to offer? Investors want people to think of these questions while making their pitch decks.
A presentation must clearly state the problem or market gap it aims to address and the solution they are putting forward to potential customers. Slides defining the Problem and the Solution are a simple yet effective way to put the point across.
Click here to check out a good example of this.
Business Plan and Models
Investors want to see long term vision in the companies they nurture – after all, no one is investing in start-ups for the short run. You have to show them a business model for earning money, prove that your business is scalable and your expansion plans.
The Investor sitting on the other side needs to be convinced that you know what you are doing; that you have a comprehensive strategy for your business – from production to marketing to future expansion.
Ask what you want and why you should get it
Some investors we spoke to were very insistent we put this point across – a good investor pitch deck should mention the needs of the company plainly – the amount, the timelines and the terms. While you might have a great idea, you have to think from the point of view of the person putting in the capital – they are in this to make money, it’s up to you to explain to them how investing in your company is going to be profitable for them.
Good looks help too
While content is truly the king in the context of investor pitch decks, there is just too much competition out there for you not to focus on the design as well. With so many fantastic looking competing presentations in the ring, you do need to stand out. Also, a badly designed presentation might signal a sloppy attitude – I mean, if you can’t be bothered to work on something as crucial as a pitch deck, then what does it say about your work ethics?
Here is a good-looking deck that ticks all the boxes for a good investor pitch deck.
Sure, a good deck is a key part of any pitch, but don’t let it tie you down. Deals are signed based on so much more than a deck. VCs are looking for more than a product, they want to work with a person who has a vision and the ability to turn it into reality.
In a situation, where your company is just an idea, you need to connect personally with the investor to be able to sell your product to them.
What you need here is to let your personality shine through – you are passionate about your vision and you need to convey your feelings. Take time to do some basic research on the people you are meeting and spend some time just chatting before you start presenting.
Always remember, meetings don’t usually go accordingly to plan, there are interruptions and questions, people who like what you are offering and people who don’t. Have confidence in your product and just roll with it.