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The number one reason why new businesses fail? A lack of capital. In 2022, studies showed that 47% of startup failures were due to a lack of financing. Looming fears of a potential recession following the pandemic’s start completely restructured our world and intensified the drive for entrepreneurs to find reliable investors within the first year of their businesses.

If you’ve landed here, you’re probably exploring how to build a financial cushion for your entrepreneurial pursuits.

“A solid pitch deck is one way to get you closer to achieving your financial dreams.” – Nancy Twine

What is a Pitch Deck?

A pitch deck is a presentation that outlines the key points of a business idea or project, typically used to persuade investors or other stakeholders to support it. It usually includes information about the problem being solved, the solution being offered, the market opportunity, the business model, and the team behind the project.

Why Should Entrepreneurs Use a Pitch Deck?

A pitch deck is your visual aid to communicate your business idea to potential investors or partners. Pitch decks provide a concise and visual overview of the key elements of your proposed business plan. Leveraging a compelling pitch deck, entrepreneurs can capture their audience’s attention and convey their value proposition clearly and compellingly.

When Should Entrepreneurs Use a Pitch Deck?

Entrepreneurs should use a pitch deck when they are seeking to attract investors or bank financing, present their business idea or plan to potential business partners, or make a sales pitch to potential clients. Pitch decks outline the venture’s business concept, market opportunity, revenue model, team, and other key aspects of the business model. It helps to communicate the value proposition and capture the audience’s attention concisely and compellingly.

10 Things Every Pitch Deck Should Include

Including these elements in your pitch deck will help investors understand your business and make informed decisions about whether to invest.

1. Problem statement

Clearly define the problem your product or service is solving.

2. Market opportunity

Explain the size and potential of your target market.

3. Solution

Present your product or service as the solution to a problem.

4. Business model

Explain how your company plans to generate revenue.

5. Competitive landscape

Identify your main competitors and how your product or service differs.

6. Marketing and sales strategy

Explain how you plan to reach your target market and acquire customers.

7. Management team

Introduce your team and their relevant experience and expertise.

8. Financials

Include financial projections and any funding you have already received.

9. Milestones

Outline your key milestones and how you plan to achieve them.

10. An ask

Clearly state what you are asking for from investors, whether funding or a partnership.

5 Ways to Make your Pitch Deck Stand Out to Investors

Once you’ve covered your bases, add a few touches to make your pitch deck irresistible.

1. Keep it concise and visually appealing

Investors are busy and receive a ton of pitch decks, so lay out your pitches to ensure yours is easy to skim and visually engaging.  If you don’t have the budget to invest in a graphic designer to help you build your pitch deck, Canva is a popular software platform that you can use on your own to design a compelling pitch deck.

2. Highlight your unique value proposition

This isn’t the time to play small. Clearly articulate what sets your business apart and why investors should be interested in funding it. Tell them what you’re doing differently and how.  Where you can, leverage testimonials, rave reviews, and survey data to help storytell your point of difference from a perspective other than your own.  

3. Demonstrate market opportunity

Show that there is a sizable and growing market (also known as TAM = Total Addressable Market) for your product or service. The previous point will guide you here. Show them where you fill a gap, especially in more saturated or niche markets.  If you’re unsure of where to find the market size of your industry, the best place to start is by accessing industry report data for your business category that can help frame the market opportunity (note:  many of these reports come with a fee, however, some can be accessed for free through the database at your local small business library). 

4. Showcase a strong team

Investors want to see that you have a talented and experienced team that can execute the business plan. Even if you don’t have many (or any employees), you can list notable advisors and mentors as part of your team.  Don’t busy your list of team members with people who won’t be essential to your pitch. Let investors know who is being trusted with their financial investment.

5. Be prepared to answer tough questions

Anticipate potential concerns or objections and be ready to address them in your pitch deck or during the presentation. A fun way to prep? Pretend you’re on an episode of Shark Tank.

The Pitch Deck Bottom Line

No amount of flair can conceal a bad product, service, or business plan. Do not rely solely on a presentation to form a connection to your business. Be sure you have something worth investing in.

When structuring your visual presentation, seek a trusted designer or find free or low-cost templates online to save time and money.

Want to receive more advice on your pitch deck? Schedule a video call with Nancy through Intro.