You have made it work! You have hired productive and motivated remote freelancers coupled with a compelling product and a great market proposition. You established a promising startup. The future is within reach.
But further climbing up, yet another obstacle shuns your fledgling startup. You need funding! You need venture capitalists and/or angel investors who will believe in your cause. With their help, you can grow your business even further. After all, your success will be their success as well. Just look at these successful products pitched in the show shark tank.
Time is Crucial When Pitching to Investors
I'm not saying you will pitch in shark tank. (But if you do, Goodluck!)
But like any prospective investor out there, the problem is the people who have the money are quite elusive. Most of them are busy with their own businesses, doing what they love, or from hearing pitch decks from numerous hopefuls like you.
Based on the trend today, the average time a startup presents their idea is roughly 20 minutes. How do you grab their attention and support when you only have 20 minutes to pitch? How do you increase your chances? Where do you focus?
Nothing beats your speaking prowess in conveying your ideas. But if you nailed your speech narrative already, now we polish your visuals. These are the 4 most important slides to focus on your pitch deck.
First impressions last. This may be a sad truth, but most investors would make up their mind from just the first slide. The same way we judge things we buy or future friends we mingle with.
So in terms of your presentation, you have to impress them starting from the cover slide. You don't have to clutter the first slide with everything. Just make sure to include a beautiful representation of your company and the problem you are solving or the essence of your company.
The next step is selling your team. An idea might be good on paper but if the people behind can't execute it, it's of no use.
Remember that people must like you first before they buy-in to your idea. Therefore, you have to convince your investors that your current group can bring your ideas to reality. They must believe that your team can do it.
To do this, you must differentiate your team. Write down the important achievements of your group. Also, it's good to put their credentials that will make the investors nod their head and say "I think you got a great team."
Even if they don't invest right now; if they like you, they might invest in your future rounds. The point is, you should showcase the relevant capabilities of your team. You are not just a homogenous random team. You are THE RIGHT team for it.
Vision and Market Opportunity Slide
This is where you paint the picture. What is the problem you are solving? The biggest businesses in the world just solved bigger problems. Telecommunications solved slow messaging. Automobiles solved transportation. Facebook solved personal connectedness.
You don't have to cure an epidemic or something. If you’re entering an industry with a number of players already, how are you different from them? What did you improve for customers to buy your products over theirs? How can you rise up the competition?
After establishing this, how do you see yourself in the future? It's in conveying your vision that your possible investors can somewhat understand your potential and the market you are tapping into.
A business idea should be profitable. This may be commonsensical but not a lot of people view businesses this way. If you engage in an upcoming cash cow, you should know how to milk it, right?
And this is the purpose of your financial slide. Most investors spend the longest time here. It may sound capitalistic, but it is a major reason why they invest in you.
Your financials show historical data on how you can monetize your ideas. How much is your margin? What distribution channels are you using? How do your sales look like for the past year? What is your projected growth? How can their investment help you reach higher sales?
If you don't have this financials yet (maybe you are in the pre-development stage), you should at least show how you could measure your progress and the market size. Show them your plan on how you can tap this market. Because again, what's the use of the potential "big" market if you can't penetrate a sliver of it.
Remember, you are not limited to just these slides. Feel free to add as necessary. But better make most out of your presenting time. Do well in these important aspects and get those investors to believe in you!
With that, may you be the next big thing! Good luck!
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