A business does not need to raise money to be successful. Businesses that do need money to survive or to accelerate their growth can benefit from outside capital, though they still need to balance that with the resultant loss of ownership.
A good pitch deck is essential to a successful raise. It forces you to concisely articulate your business & investors will want to see it. There are many ways to create an effective pitch deck, see below a suggested format for a 12-slide pitch deck.
- Introduction: Describe your business in a sentence
- The problem: What problem are you solving, and who benefits from the solution?
- The solution: How are you addressing this problem? What is your product or service? What is the technology that backs it?
- Target market and opportunity: Why is now the time for your solution? Who will adopt it?
- Value proposition: How does your product or service beat the competition? How does your product scale with demand?
- Revenue model: What is your basic business model? How do you gain revenue, and what are the associated costs?
- Competition: Why will customers choose you over the competition? Talk about your advantages.
- Traction and validation/roadmap: What is your traction in the market? How quickly are you growing? Where do you expect this to get you to over a reasonable timeline?
- Marketing and sales strategy: How will you find customers? How will your product scale with demand?
- Team: Who are the key people on your team? What have they done in the past and how will that help your business?
- Financials: Putting together a set of thoughtful projections enhances credibility and creates a useful roadmap.
- Investment and use of funds: End with an ask. Why does your business need the money you are asking for, and how will you use it?
- Summary: Summarize the key points from your presentation.
An effective pitch deck has ~10-12 slides, and can be presented in ~15 minutes. Speak less, say more. Tell your story, and cater your tone to your audience. Be creative and avoid a dry presentation.