If you’re thinking of pitching your business to a venture capitalist or an angel investor, you need to prepare a pitch deck. Preparing for a business pitch can be quite tricky. You have to know what the investor wants and prepare to meet her/his expectations. You have to know how to pitch your idea in a way that will catch their attention and make them say, “Yes, I want to invest in you”. Here is a step-by-step guide that will help you prepare your very own investor pitch deck.
What is an investor pitch deck?
A pitch deck is a formal presentation that will hopefully convince an investor to provide you with funds for your project. But before you can do that, you need to convince investors why they should be interested in your business.
So, what will your investor pitch look like? Let’s take a look.
Decide what you are pitching
Let’s start with what you are going to pitch. Do you want to explain why your idea is worth their attention? Or do you want to introduce an exciting new technology that will completely change the way we do something? Do you want to simply create millions? Whatever you decide, set a goal for your pitch and build upon that goal.
Who is the target audience?
You need to figure out who your target audience is. Are you pitching to professional investors, angel investors, family offices, FFFs (friends, family & fools)? Every audience has different interests, and you need to adapt your pitch to align to those interests. For instance, an investor who is looking for the next unicorn, a business that is easily scalable worldwide, is probably not going to invest in a startup targeting but a specific region. An FFFs will probably not care about the money as much as it would care about helping you and making sure her/his investment will contribute to your development.
Deciding who you want to pitch to is one of the most crucial decisions you will ever make as an entrepreneur.
Is your idea worthy? Can you attract an investor?
If you are a student or a would-be entrepreneur who is looking to land an investor for your business, then the biggest thing you need to consider is how much benefit you can offer the investor in return. Most probably, you will be discussing the percentage of shares or the role in the decision-making process. The more you have to offer, the more chances you’ll have to find a common ground with an investor.
Is your business idea standing out of the crowd? Some business ideas are revolutionary, while some are less disruptive yet profitable and worth a try. Whatever the case may be, you need to develop an investor pitch that is fascinating to investors and that highlights your unique value proposition.
Create an investor pitch deck
If you are a first-time founder, a new entrepreneur, or if you are pitching a new idea to investors, then you are probably going to need a pitch deck. You can use free Keynote, PowerPoint or Canva templates to create a pitch deck that you can use for the investor pitch. Otherwise, consider browsing through some examples below.
Speak about your competition
If you are pitching an idea to an investor, you should be knowledgeable about your competition. You should do your best to learn everything you can about them and explain in your pitch why you are better. The best is if you present your findings visually – using the so-called competitor mapping technique.
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Outline the problem and solution with a story
Before you get into the details of what you want to pitch, you have to decide how you are going to frame your idea in a story. What is the story behind your business? What is the actual problem you are trying to solve? This is very important to help investors understand your value proposition and ultimately to remember you and your project. Stories are powerful. Here is an example. Suppose you are an entrepreneur looking to start a pizza delivery business. How do you plan to solve a real problem? You don’t have to tell your customers that you are making fresh homemade pizzas, but what’s most likely going to work is to tell your customers that you are going to deliver pizzas very fast, at the click of a button, always warm; using organic products, and what have you.
Explain your revenue model
How do you expect to make money? Your goal is to find an investor who believes in your business model, but you don’t necessarily have to provide an exact formula to calculate how much money your business will make. Investors will be looking to you to make an informed business decision, and as such, it is a lot easier if they are engaged with a realistic picture of your business rather than one based on a formula. It is better to have a target figure in mind and then explain what you plan to do to reach it. During the investor pitch, show your motivation and drive, and be specific as possible, this way an investor is going to estimate your energy level and how quickly you can generate revenues.
Explain your funding needs
Before you start pitching, you need to clearly explain how much money you need in order to get your project off the ground. This will give you an idea of how much your investor is willing to give you and how much your startup is likely to cost. Once you know your business needs, ask your potential investor if he or she can help you reach them and what they can offer to help you.
Create a business plan
In order to get funding, you first need to prepare a business plan. This will take you a few days or even weeks, depending on the complexity of your project. This will cover your costs, how you will sell your product or service, your product or service range, pricing structure, your target customers, and what your target market is.
“The Team” slide of the investor pitch deck
This slide of the pitch deck will include details about the team and their background, industry experience, and so on. This slide could be a highlight of your deck, so don’t neglect to showcase your team as good as you possibly can. The biggest mistake you can make is to have an amazing team but not showcasing it in the team slide.
Practice your pitch
One of the best ways to prepare for an investor pitch, as obvious as it may sound, is to practice. Most startups will tell you that they usually pitch investors in person. Make sure you know your presentation pretty well, so you don’t forget any important details while you’re pitching in front of “the jury”.
Seek independent feedback
The best way to prepare a good investor pitch is to talk to other entrepreneurs about what they did in order to get funding for their startup. Another great idea is to ask your team to give you feedback about the slides – they will look at your presentation with fresh eyes and will give you some insight on what else to include.
The pitch competition has become a very popular option for entrepreneurs who need to raise funding for their new startups. Although there are various reasons why people apply to pitch competitions, you should know that there are no guarantees that you will get selected. However, with each pitch, your pitch deck itself and your presentation skills get stronger.
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