Be sincere, be brief, be seated.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, former US president
It finally happened. You set your alarm clock up for 6 am this morning. You’ve ironed your tie and your shoe laces. You’ve been waiting for this Day for ages, and the day has finally come. The Day. The Day you’re going to present your idea - your precious child to those affluent big-wiged Judges - to the Investors.
Of course, all the precautions that could ever be imagined were already taken. The research was made, the idea-generating cycle is already far behind, and it seems like a pep-talk for your startup is ready to be delivered. But is it really so? Perhaps it would be a good idea to ask yourself these questions to find out how perspective your pitch desk really is.
1) Why your startup?
Well, I hope it really is as obvious as it could be - that the first slides of that pitch deck of yours should tell about your “space mission”. The info you convey should have a clear strategic course, the goals and importance of your work. Which problems does it solve? What’s the uniqueness or freshness of your idea? Does it have a clean alternative?
2) How many slides are there in your prezi?
No, I am not trying to limit your eloquence here. But we all are well-acquainted with the KISS principle. According to a research Guy Kawasaki did - there’s a 10/20/30 grand formula for a decent presentation. 10 slides, 20 minutes, 30 point font - easier said than done, I know. But what is the likelihood your investors came here today to be lectured?
3) Who are you referring to?
Know your enemy they say. Well, know your investor as it applies. There’s some basic info you can tell if care to search the web for a particular person info e.g. interests, life principles, faves. Most certainly it requires time and patience, but if this person is the one our small business perspective depends on - why don’t you put some time into the right use?
4) Who are you focused on?
The problem with innovation, especially the great innovation, is that every time you think you must have found the answer, you also find the catch. Okay, instead of sharing dozens of photos people will fall into sharing each other’s favorite colours in that a-ma-zing app of yours. But. As Richard Cheese once sang, … well, Earth is overpopulated. You can’t possibly satisfy all the people. You need to find that precious TA, those who are desperate for your product.
5) How much cash do you need?
No matter how logical your plan was before - sooner or later it hits the “budget iceberg” and here blunt metrics is your only friend. Overwhelmingly enough, the most eloquent young hearts tend to scare themselves off and blush when the talk takes a financial turn. Be prepared to give your potential investor the bullet-point as large as the check size is.
6) How soon the money given is going to pay off?
Unless you’re lucky enough to get an elevator pitch, a tiny amount of funders are going to invest into a bold idea these days. You might be asking now “But what is a startup if not an idea?”. Easily and easily - it’s a small business in perspective. The cash flow raise is the distinguisher between those two, as it’s unlikely you bump into a saving angel. So once again - it’s no magic, just metrics, analytics...and metrics.
7) And what are you going to spend funds on?
As an IT company, we have seen miracles happening. We have even made some of the most high-tech ones happen. But in a dog-eat-dog world we live in as an entrepreneur you will not survive hoping for a marvel. The easy-to-use tool that will help you to steer you SMB ship through the Waters of the Red Ocean is strategy. More to this, a sound strategy in terms of budget. So when it all comes to business, do not only ask - offer a budget-plan first.
8.Are you happy?
Despite the article being called “7 questions you should ask yourself before pitch decking”, there’s one more crucial thing - as without it all of this buzz turns pointless. The thing you should give some thought to is your own process satisfaction. Even when being burned out and smashed, remember - this too shall pass. The higher purpose you went on those tiresome interviews is the only thing that matters. Keep that in Mind and keep holding on!
In case you need to shoot up with some inspiration, here’s the set of the 30 lush pitch decks to take after.