The essentials of a pitch deck that will get you investment for your business

The essentials of a pitch deck that will get you investment for your business
Adria Tarrida

Posted: Mon 6th May 2019

What should you include in a pitch deck to get investment? Crowdfunding consultant Adrià Tarrida goes through the dos and don'ts for success.

The pitch deck is an essential document you'll need to get investment in your company. It's a presentation under 20 slides that summarises your business, what you're trying to do and why your audience should invest in this opportunity. Let's look in detail at what elements you should include.

Before we begin

Let's make sure some important things are in place before we even start working on our business pitch:

  • A place to start from: I would highly recommend having a very well refined one-pager before you start working on the pitch deck. This one-pager contains the elements of the business pitch in just one side of an A4. You should send this version to as many people in your close circles as possible, asking for feedback. It's much easier to incorporate this valuable feedback in a short document than in a full-blown presentation. Once you're reasonably happy with it, you can then proceed to develop your points in the full pitch deck.

  • Focus: Perhaps you have in mind different sources of revenue, multiple products, hundreds of countries where you could sell them. But at this stage, you first need to prove that you can sell one solution to one type of customer in a scalable way. Diversification can come later but be single-minded to start with.

  • Look professional: It's important to have a basic but clear corporate branding that considers things like tone of voice, brand identity (typography, colours, logo), values, etc. Maintaining consistency across the document, website and any email communications. A bit of work on this front could mean the difference between getting the investment or not getting it.

Appealing to the brain and the heart of investors: Without a solid business proposition, we won't get investment. But professional investors will see hundreds of pitch decks every month. We need to stand out, appealing to their emotions too.

Cite your sources: Any claim we make should be verifiable. For example, citing authoritative sources when talking about market growth and market shares is essential to appear trustworthy.

The elements of a business pitch

Let's dive into what you should include in your pitch deck:

  • Opening: An attention-grabbing cover that piques the curiosity of the investors. Also, a slide with a short 'elevator pitch' could work quite well at this point.

  • Market: This is one of the most important slides in the deck, as the investors will want to see that you'll have enough customers. How big is it? What's the growth rate? Who are the main incumbents right now?

  • Problem: Describe in detail who is your target audience and what specific problem you're solving for them. Tackle potential questions such as: is the audience big enough? Is this a real problem for them? Would they be ready to pay money to get it solved?

  • Alternatives: You should tackle head on how your target audience is solving this problem at the moment. Who are your competitors? How are their solutions not optimal? What are their strengths and how are you going to overcome them?

  • Solution: Present your unique approach to solving the problem. Do we have any proof of product-market fit?

  • Business model: How are you going to monetise your solution? Is it a one-off purchase, a subscription model?

  • Traction: How many users or sales have you made? Do you have any distribution agreements?

  • Roadmap: You could present it as a simple timeline, showing the key milestones from the moment you had the idea to the potential exit in the future.

  • Team: Your opportunity to present the team and their achievements so far.

  • Financials: What are your projections for the next 4-5 years? What are your costs and margins?

  • Investment opportunity: Hopefully your audience will read to this point. Now you need to make the sell: how much investment do you want? What is the equity on offer? Are you planning an exit so the investors can see a return?

Some things to avoid

Investors will be looking for red flags to avoid investment mistakes. Here are some examples of 'no-nos':

  • Stating there is no competition: There always is. The audience is solving their problem somehow, perhaps not optimally, but there are always alternatives

  • Unjustified projections: If you're going to grow your company exponentially, you'd better have a solid plan on how you're going to do it.

  • Not tackling gaps in your team straight on: If your team isn't balanced, tell the investors how you're going to fill that gap.

Some practical advice

Finally, three tips that will help you out:

  • Design: It's crucial that the pitch deck is well designed, clean (I would lean to minimalism) and easy to read. Unless you have a design background, it's worth spending a bit of money having this done by a professional. That's another reason to only do it when you have a refined version of the pitch.

  • Save it on PDF, so your audience can open and read it on any device.

  • Get inspiration from the best: Watch pitches from famous entrepreneurs to get inspired.

Wrapping up

Writing a good business pitch is an important step to getting investment in your company. Hopefully we have addressed some of the main things to keep in mind. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask.

Adria Tarrida
I can help you plan, create and run your crowdfunding campaign. Drop me a line and let's chat! After advising quite a few SMEs and entrepreneurs build their marketing strategies and plans, I have specialised in crowdfunding. So far I've run 2 successful campaigns with Crumbs Brewing and The Merstham Mix, raising over £38k. I'd love to chat about your idea and how we could fund it with this innovative approach. Now planning an equity crowdfunding accelerator with Enterprise Nation. This was after over 10 years of honing my skills in FMCG and the Education sector, when I started a new chapter in my career as a Consultant, bringing my skills to new sectors and ventures. Amongst them, there's Crumbs Brewing, a brand new craft brewery working on reducing food waste. I also give back some of my time to the community in my role as a Trustee for the local charity Loveworks and as a Director of The Merstham Mix Café, using mostly recovered food to create healthy and affordable meals - there's a bit of a theme here! I have a true global outlook, as I have worked in very international roles in 3 different countries and I can speak fluently 4 languages and have a basic grasp of further 3 Some of my other passions are: my family, music (I play bass guitar in a punk/rock covers and sing quite badly) and sport (because one is not enough, I do triathlons and ride my MTB in the beautiful North Downs) Specialities: crowdfunding, strategic marketing, marketing activation, segmentation, brand positioning, digital marketing, social media, project management, culture change (Culture of Accountability), sustainability (companies can and should be a force for good!), Education, FMCG, B2B, Start-ups, Charity

You might also like…

Get business support right to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive business tips, learn about new funding programmes, join upcoming events, take e-learning courses, and more.