If you’re raising money for your business, having an impressive elevator pitch deck is a key part of your fundraising toolkit. A great pitch deck and presentation gets potential investors excited about your idea and engages them in a conversation about your business, hopefully leading to an investment.
Remember, your pitch deck and pitch presentation are probably some of the first things that an investor is seeing when they’re starting to learn about your company and business idea. And, because investments are rarely made after just one meeting, your goal is to spark interest in your company. You want investors to ask for more after they hear your pitch, and not just show you to the door.
Here are a few tips to make your pitch deck stand out:
- Tell a story: Nothing will hook investors more than a story that they can relate to. That’s why your pitch deck should start by defining the problem you are solving. Make sure your audience can easily understand that there’s a real problem that your company can solve by making your story real and relatable.
- Show that there’s a market: You may have a great idea to solve a real problem, but unless enough people have the problem, it’s going to be hard for investors to consider your pitch. Your presentation needs to show that there is a market, but don’t exaggerate the size or make the classic mistake of saying that you’re going to, “get 1% of a trillion dollar market.”
- Keep your solution simple: You don’t have a lot of space in a pitch presentation to go into detail about your company and your product, so keep the description of your solution simple and straightforward. Getting a second meeting with investors is your goal, so it’s fine if not all questions are answered on the slide that describes what your company does.
- Show how you make money: Surprisingly, many pitch presentations skip one of the most important parts—how your company actually makes money. Don’t forget this critical slide in your presentation.
- Show that you have traction: Traction is proof that you have a good idea. Whether you have early customers, or other evidence that your target market is interested in your solution, make sure to share that evidence. It can be in the form of a timeline of milestones you’ve achieved, or a list of evidence that your company is likely to be successful.
- Have a marketing & sales plan: You don’t need to have all of the details fleshed out, but your pitch deck should include some details on how you plan on marketing and selling your product. Investors will want to know that you’ve thought about this aspect of the business.
- Explain why you are the right person: You, and your team, are what investors are really investing in. There are always great ideas, but only so many people who are qualified to turn those ideas into successful businesses. Your presentation should show why you and your team are the right people to build a successful business.
- Know your numbers: Even though any forecast is just educated guess, potential investors will want to understand your thinking on how the business will grow over time and what it’s going to take to be profitable. Be sure to include a brief summary of your sales forecast, expense forecast, and anticipated profits. Just be sure to be realistic.
- Know the competition: Every business has competition, so don’t make the mistake of saying that you don’t have any. Your presentation should show who your competition is and why your product is better.
- Have a spending plan: If you do get investment, how will you plan on spending it? Investors don’t just write checks because you have a great pitch deck. They are going to want to know how you plan on spending their money to build your business.