Pitch decks have become very popular over the past five years as more
people want to see information regarding a business displayed in a clear and
concise manner. Of course, nearly every individual investor or financial
institution that requests the pitch deck will more often than not request the
business plan as well. In my experience, as a seasoned business plan writer, I
have found that the best way to develop a pitch deck is to first complete the
full business plan. The vast majority of the information that is put into a
pitch deck is typically drawn specifically from the business plan. This is
especially true as it relates to the financial portion of a business planning
model that is going to be showcased within a PowerPoint presentation.
A well-written pitch deck should be no more than 15 slides. However, there are exceptions to this rule especially if the business is engaged in a highly specialized technology or has significantly difficult operations to manage. For a general pitch deck that is specific for capital raising, 15 slides is usually more than enough. Below is a breakdown of how we develop each slide.
Slide Section One
The first slide should focus heavily on providing information in a bullet-ed point fashion regarding the business. This includes the name of the business, how much money is being raised, whether this capital is coming as an equity investment or loan, and it brief overview of the products and services that are going to be provided. Usually, 18 to 24 point font should be used so that it is very easy to read.
Slide Section Two
In this section it is important to provide a brief overview of the products and services that are offered. This can be expanded into two slides especially if the business has proprietary technology or a specialized operational method that sets the business apart from its competition. Again, it is very important to be as brief as possible in this part of the presentation as many people often go overboard with the amount of information they include in this aspect of operations.
Slide Section Three
Here, it is time to discuss the market analysis. Unlike the business plan, the market analysis that is included within a PowerPoint presentation or pitch deck should be kept to a minimum. For local businesses, this can include showcasing the target demographics of the business while providing an overview of how many people fall into the company’s target market radius. For businesses, such as online focused companies, a substantial focus can be placed on the potential number of people on either a national or global level that could become potential users or customers of a company’s services or products.
One of the important keys to developing a pitch deck that stands apart is to include a number of different graphics that can be clearly showcased to a potential funding source. The pitch deck, again, is generally meant to create a substantial amount of interest in the business while focusing on the fact that a full business plan is available upon request.
Slide Section Four
In this slide, it is time to discuss the marketing. Again, much like any other aspect of this document – a specific focus should be placed on using bullet point overviews in less there is some highly proprietary marketing strategy that will be implemented by the business.
.As with all businesses these days, it is very important to focus substantially on the online marketing strategies will be used specific for your organization. If your business is an online company then it is appropriate to develop this part of the pitch deck as up to a three-slide overview of how you will be conducting your marketing operations. Specific topics that many funding sources want to see within a pitch deck specific for marketing is how the brand will position itself online through the use of social media as well as search engine optimization. One of the other tables that can be included in this part of the pitch deck is the anticipated return on investment that will be generated from each dollar of marketing expenditure undertaken.
Slide Section Five
Here, the anticipated financial results of the business are provided to a potential funding source. This includes images of the profit and loss statement, cash flow analysis, and balance sheet. Additional metrics such as a breakeven analysis, common size income statement, and business ratios can be kept off of the pitch deck as this is usually shown very thoroughly within the business plan self. Below are images of how the financial statements are showcased within a pitch deck document:
Slide Section Six
Finally, an overview of the biographies of the founders and management team should be included in the section. This can usually run anywhere from 1 to 4 slides depending on the expertise of the individual as well as the number of people that are on board with this business.
If any specific individual is extremely well known in the industry or has had substantial success with similar businesses then this should be clearly highlighted within this part of the pitch deck. Most importantly, keep this section to an absolute minimum in less it is completely imperative that a full resume or curriculum vitae is shown to potential funding source. The only true instances where a full resume should be included within a pitch deck is if the business surrounds the highly specialized expertise or professional background of the owner or management team.
Slide Section Seven
On the final page, we include information regarding how to contact the point person for the business, and we reference the fact that a full-scale business plan is available upon request. Usually, the name, address, email address, and contact phone numbers are included in this section. If the business already has a website available to view, then this information should be included as well on the final slide of the pitch deck.
A pitch deck is a great way for a company to gain immediate exposure from a potential funding source. Again, these days people are inundated with information on a daily basis and having a pitch deck that can quickly convey exactly what you’re looking to achieve, the anticipated financial results your business, and your specific funding request. This can go a long way into having a funding source thoroughly review your developed business plan. In subsequent articles, we’re going to discuss how you can create other forms of presentation that will create a substantial amount of interest in your business.
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