There are a variety of different ways to raise money. In fact, that’s a whole other blog post.
Typically, fundraising is a long, arduous process, and we've seen it made worse by a weak presentation.
So, we’re going to focus on the 10 elements your pitch deck needs for savvy investors to take you seriously.
1. What is your mission/company overview?
This is sometimes referred to as a “company profile.” This only needs to be a few lines that clearly articulate what your company is all about.
This is a little long, but, overall, a good example from Starbucks:
2. What is the principle problem that you are solving and why is your solution unique?
The best products solve painful problems for a specific group of people.
It's here that you could also address who your target customer is. PLEASE don’t say "millennials". As noted above, be focused. You can always expand the customer base once you’ve gained trust and loyalty from a passionate core.
3. How big is your market size and what is going on in your category?
Ideally, you are leveraging a current trend with momentum. In other words, the market is big and growing.
4. What are your products and their main benefits?
5. What’s your traction?
If you’re in well-known stores, mention that. If you’re only sold online, can you show solid growth? An attention to velocity here is particularly compelling.
6. How do you stack up with competition?
Often displayed like a table where your product checks all the boxes and your competition does not.
7. Have you gotten any press or do you have a big/growing following on social media?
This looks like a slide with a bunch of press logos on it or screen grabs of online articles/features. If social media is more of a bright spot, you can focus on that instead.
8. What is your marketing/promotional strategy?
If something has worked already, mention that.
For instance, when we launch in a new store, we do 3 demos/week for the first 4 weeks, then do a 20% off promotion once/quarter. With previous efforts, we've seen an x% increase in sales.
9. What are your basic financials?
Highlight COGS and depict actual and projected revenues on the same slide. At earlier stages, the numbers are not quite as important as your ability to logically outline a trajectory that makes sense.
10. What is your ask? How will you spend the money?
Don't ask for a range of money. Ask for a specific amount and demonstrate how you will invest those funds.
The main buckets, typically, are:
- Team - Hiring more people, both full-time and contractors
- Product Development - Launching new products/expanding existing lines
- Operations - Acquiring new equipment
- Marketing - Running more in-store promotions or digital ads
- Inventory - Ensuring that you have enough product on hand for increased purchased orders
A good pitch deck alone isn’t going to compel an investor to partner with you, but a bad one will definitely turn one away. It should...
- Look good (spend the extra $$$ on a designer)
- Be concise (7-10 slides)
- Articulate why an investor should put money into your venture vs. the thousands of others that may come across her desk
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