The Essential Pitch Deck Checklist for Start-ups
We get it. You have a great idea for a new business, you’ve set your sights on your goals and you know what you want your business to look like. All you need now, is funding. The key to your funding? A successful pitch deck.
The pitch perfect pitch deck will help you communicate your ideas in a way that will get your investors excited. It needs to be music to their ears, and you need to make them really want to finance your business. Your brand story needs to be compelling, your pitch deck clean and simple, and your ideas easy to act on. Sounds like a tall order? Don’t worry. We’ve put together this handy checklist to help lead the way to your dream pitch deck.
Here at Blonde and Giant, we also offer a pitch deck service. We know how important it is to knock your first impression right out of the park, and how tricky that can be. Our service tackles your pitch deck strategy, narrative, content and design.
What Should You Include In a Pitch Deck?
It’s really easy to want to give your investors as much information as possible. But in trying to give them the full picture, you’ll also be dumping too much detail on them. No one has time for that, and you’ll risk losing your investors. There are a couple of key elements that should definitely feature in a pitch deck, regardless of industry or product.
Don’t be shy! Introduce yourself. Get off on the right foot with your investors and tell them who you are and why you’re here. It sets the tone for the rest of your pitch deck and you want your audience’s full attention. Give them the value proposition of your business. Something that’s got a great ring to it that will pique their interest. Don’t go overboard though, keep to the point and keep it snappy.
2. The Problem
What gap are you filling in the market? This is where you need to explain the problem that you’ve noticed. It needs to be a problem that’s relatable, something that’s common to a lot of people. If it’s not a problem for enough people, then there’s no need to invest in your business. You also need to explain it clearly and concisely. Ideally, your investors shouldn’t have any issues understanding you, so be direct and focused. Don’t try to tackle too many problems as it will make you come across as unprofessional and unfocused.
3. The Solution
You’ve outlined the problem, now provide your solution. Your proposed ideas should change the game and give people a solution they won’t be able to live without. Again, be concise and clear. You also need to show your investors how capable you are of solving the problem. That means you’ll need to have done your research. Show them that you’re right on time for the market and you’ll be able to handle the pressure.
4. The Market Size
This slide in your pitch deck is crucial. The size of the market is going to determine if you are really worth investing in. If the market is too small, you won’t provide enough ROI to your investors. You’ll be considered as too risky. If it’s not too small however, a graph that outlines your opportunity for growth can be very handy here and can really help to sell your idea.
5. Your Product
You need to show your investors your product in action. This is a great time to include photos showing your product from different angles, maybe even a cross-section of it. If your product is an app, use this section to show them what it looks like and how user-friendly it is. You might even want to include quotes and reviews from current clients.
This is where you include the hockey stick growth chart. It’s all about the growth of your business. How many sales you’ve made so far, the goals you’ve achieved, and what your next steps will be. Your investors want to see that you have made progress before coming to them, and that your product has potential. You’re not starting from ground zero, but their financial aid will give you the push you need to really soar.
7. The Team
Give them a line up of your team! Let them know the names and faces of the people who have made your business unique. Don’t forget to include each person’s role in the business. It will also help to make it more personal. Remember, a pitch deck is all about storytelling so don’t forget your main characters.
8. The Competition
Show your investors how you compare to your competition. Avoid making statements that reference you as the only solution in the market. You know you’re not, and so do they. Don’t bash your competition or say you’re the best either. Instead, show them why you’re different to the competition, and how you’re bringing something new to the table. Your ability to highlight your strengths will work in your favour and secure their interest.
This is where your investors will spend the most time. The financials section of your pitch deck should include your company’s projected growth for the next 3 to 5 years. It will give a good idea of where you’re heading. You should also include your company’s business model and financials. Using a colourful bar chart to summarise is really beneficial here. It will be easier to read and to remember. Don’t include a large spreadsheet and risk overwhelming your investors with numbers. Have that ready in case they ask for it, but don’t put it in the pitch deck.
10. What You’re Asking
Finally, the reason you’re reaching out to investors in the first place. How much are you asking for? Here you need to be strategic. Don’t settle on a specific sum as you’ll risk pricing yourself out and losing an investor. Instead, make sure you give them a range. Don’t forget to tell them what you plan to do with their money either. Justifying your asking price will help build a sense of trust with your investors and they’ll take you seriously.
Putting together the perfect pitch deck isn’t easy, and it will take time. Once you get the formula right though, there’s nothing stopping you from getting out there. Think you need a hand? Contact us today and we’ll help you build your pitch deck so you can lock down your investors.