If your business is looking to expand, fundraise, or bring on additional stakeholders — you will typically need a pitch deck. Pitch decks serve as a quick overview of your business, your long-term vision, an imminent opportunity, and your ask. Pitch decks allow you to communicate clearly and succinctly to potential stakeholders, while also forcing you to streamline your internal messaging. Here are 14 slides I recommend including in a pitch deck:
Who You Are
SLIDE 1. Mission / 1-liner. Share a bold statement of what your business has to offer. It can be an aspiration or a condensed value proposition.
Your Value Proposition
SLIDE 2. The Problem. State the central problem that your offering will address. If you can solve a critical problem for a customer, you instantly create value for them. (Note: Your niche value could emerge from your Services, Features, Distribution Channels, Pricing Model, or Branding/Social Responsibility).
E.g. We know that today’s consumer wants quick and painless delivery for retail shopping. Here’s how to state ‘The Problem’ that Amazon Prime’s offering addresses:
- The Problem: “Americans spend $1.5 trillion on delivery fees, and excessive time and money traveling to physical stores.”
SLIDE 3. The Solution / Value Proposition. Reveal how your offering resolves the problem, through a niche value; and then quantify the impact.
E.g. Continuing with your Amazon Prime example, macro trends are moving retail shopping to e-commerce. Amazon Prime’s niche value is their Pricing Model — their monthly subscription provides fast delivery for millions of items:
Value Proposition Template: We help X / do Y / doing Z.
Value Proposition Detail: We help [customer in need] / do [remove problem -or- create benefit] / doing [company offering].
- Amazon Prime’s Solution/Value Proposition: “Amazon Prime helps shoppers receive fast 2-day delivery on millions of items through a flat-fee subscription.”
Proof of Success
SLIDE 4. Differentiator. Why you are special and different from competitors, and how you prove superiority in your ability to deliver to your customer. Your differentiators should expand on your Value Proposition.
E.g. Continuing with your Amazon Prime example:
- Customer Experience: Amazon Prime’s e-commerce platform and customer-sourced review system remove hurdles of items selling out in retail stores.
- Speed: Amazon Prime delivers within 2-days, an average of 1–5 days faster than standard retailer ground shipping.
- Quality: Amazon offers a free return policy and puts an extensive level of quality control into packaging and distribution, significantly reducing the likelihood of damaged items.
SLIDE 5. Measurable Results. Demonstrate you solve the customer problem with measurable results. Use one section for quantified results such as surveys and historical data; and use another section for anecdotal results such as case studies and customer quotes.
SLIDE 6. Performance, Traction, and Growth. Data that shows your performance. Compare past periods to present by using a diagram. The diagram should clearly show growth and increasing traction over time, but it does not need to be revenue only. If your revenue has not grown, use a different metric such as engagement, number of customers, or customer satisfaction.
E.g. Using a Revenue example:
SLIDE 7. Team & Accolades. This is proof of your business acumen and domain expertise in your offering’s field. Include founders, their years of experience in your industry, and their responsibilities within your business. Only include advisors if you absolutely need to supplement your founder resumes, or create an advisor slide in your Appendix.
SLIDE 8. Customers. Give insight into who uses your product. Generally, a brief outline of their profile is sufficient to illustrate who is buying your offering. Include their location, budget, and size.
SLIDE 9. Revenue Model. A brief insight on how you make money, or where your revenue comes from. State what is currently used that’s working — as a bonus, include a pie chart allocating percentages to each.
- Revenue Model: [Indicate which one or more of the following are relevant to your business]: Long-term contracts, fee-for-service/pay-as-you-go, interest, revenue share, commission, markup over cost, arbitrage, licensing/royalty, rent/lease, subscription, donation, advertising.
- Sales Channels: [Indicate which one or more of the following are relevant to your business]: Brick-and-Mortar, Retailers, Website, E-Commerce, Social Media, etc.
SLIDE 10. Competitors. Compare your offering to 2–4 competitors in the space. Illustrate this with a table or diagram, and use the same categories previously stated as your differentiator (see Slide 4).
E.g. Continuing with your Amazon Prime example:
SLIDE 11. Roadmap / Go-To-Market Approach. A phased plan of your expected launch, expansion, or growth. Give a 3– 5-year timeline, and mention which phase aligns with which year. This will begin to tell the stakeholder why there’s an exciting opportunity worth being a part of.
E.g. Using an example of a brick-and-mortar business:
- Phase 1 (2018–2019): New Locations.
- Phase 2 (2020–2021): New Production, Distribution, and Marketing.
- Phase 3 (2022–2023): New Offering.
SLIDE 12. Market Size. Include the market size of the universe surrounding your offering. This reinforces that your business is focused on a large enough market that’s viable. Calculate market size in two ways (1) Top-Down: By using industry research and reports, and (2) Bottoms-Up: Specifics of your potential market revenue by using data or surveys from actual references including customer or competitor usage.
SLIDE 13. The Ask. Direct the investor, partner, or stakeholder toward your needs. For example, if you are fundraising, based on the previously presented information they should have a clear understanding of why you need money. So ask for an amount, say what the funds will be used for, and what milestones you’ll hit within your roadmap (see Slide 10).
(Note: Depending on how private your fundraising is, you may wish to remove this slide entirely).
SLIDE 14. Financials & Projections. Add a financial profit and loss statement that shows your current revenues, costs, and profits, plus what they’re projected to be in a 3– 5-year timeline. (Note: Depending on how private your fundraising is, you may wish to remove this slide entirely).
SLIDE 15. Contact Info. Include the fastest way to contact you, typically direct email and phone.
APPENDIX. All other more detailed content can be pushed to the Appendix. Use Appendix slides as visual aids when asked relevant questions by stakeholders; as it helps reinforce your points, demonstrate your preparedness, and helps nothing go to waste. Common Appendix slides include press clippings, detailed models, or extra case studies.
Use a pitch deck as your guide to creating successful meetings with investors, partners, and stakeholders. Be sure to outline who you are, your value proposition, and the opportunity at hand to get your audience excited about being a part of your business’ expansion.
• The 10-Point Checklist to Launch Your Business
• 12 Steps to Scale a Business
• How to Calculate Market Size
• 7 Steps To Assess Your Competition
• Competitive Advantages That Last
• Finding The Right Customer Profile
• How To Measure Results
• Know Your Niche & Costs
• Developing a Go-to-Market Plan (GTM)
• 4 Steps of Customer Discovery Before You Launch
Pitch Decks & Messaging
• How to Make a Pitch Deck for Your Fund
• How to Write an Investor Update (With Example)
• How to Write a One Pager
• 9 Easy Steps to Build Your Company’s Messaging
• How to Make a Great Pitch Deck
• 3-Month Fundraising Plan — Priced Equity Round
• A Simple Way to Track Your Business Finances
• The First Service Providers To Hire For Your Business
• Who Should You Hire Next?
• Customer Service Basics
• Save Your Business in 60 Days: Cutting Costs — Part 1
• Helpful Tips for Better Operations
• 5 Ways to Productize Your Business
• The Importance of Denouncing Racism