By Stephen Day
We get a LOT of investment inquiries each week. Some do not have an executive summary much less a business plan. But if a company management wants to command attention quickly, they should develop a Pitch Deck.
When we think about Pitch Decks, we think about startups seeking investment. Rightly so, but Pitch Decks are useful for all of us when we are making a presentation or seeking funding from the Board of Directors.
Investment Pitch Deck
Investment companies review so many deals that we often have little time to thoroughly review every deal’s complete business plan. Even reading executive summaries can be time consuming. There are tens of thousands of startups seeking capital. So a well-developed pitch deck is essential for a startup to get the attention of angel investors, VCs or institutional investors.
What an investment Pitch Deck should do:
Describe your business, its current financial situation and market.
State the prospects of the business.
State the size of the targeted market. Is it growing or stable?
Explain how your product or service will solve customers’ problems.
Present in a quick and simple way.
Create interest among investors.
Explain the investment opportunity including the expected ROI and EXIT.
Common problems to avoid in investment Pitch Decks:
Indefensible and poorly thought-thru financial projections
No consideration for costs of sales and marketing
Unrealistic estimates of overhead and compliance
Little or no consideration of the needs of the investors
Fear of dilution by the founders
No exit strategy
Failure to note the management team’s experience and expertise
OK, that seems logical for startups seeking funding. You are thinking, “But what does this have to do with me?” Well, a lot!
If you are in any position in any company, you need to sell your ideas for business improvement or new innovations to the upper management or to the Board of Directors. Even if you are the CEO, you need to sell the Board or a bank or even your employees on the direction of the company. As Darren Hardy says in his best-selling book “The Entrepreneurial Roller Coaster”, everyone is selling at all times.Every one of us in business is selling; even if we delude ourselves into thinking we do not. Maybe we do not need to sell to customers but we do need to sell our ideas, our visions, and our policies to others.
Every one of us in business is selling; even if we delude ourselves into thinking we do not. Maybe we do not need to sell to customers but we do need to sell our ideas, our visions, and our policies to others.
So if we do need to sell our ideas to others, then let’s think about how we do that. As an experienced Board Director, I have watched all sorts of people make proposals attempting to gain the company as a client or customer. Other times, we have employees seeking budgets for new equipment, additional staff, or other needs. Most of the time, the presentations are dismal. We only have a limited amount of time and a board meeting is no place for a long rambling sales presentation.
Pitch Decks for Boards
What about a Pitch Deck to a Board of Directors?
Think like a startup founder
Outline the problem
Demonstrate a solution
Provide supportive documentation
Enlist others who work within the company who will support your program
State your needs (i.e., budget, merger, acquisition, raise, etc.)
Prepare to answer all the questions that the Board may ask
A Pitch Deck is a great tool for all of us, regardless of our positions or titles. Have you prepared yours?