Why everyone should have an investment deck
Let’s say you and your team are already in business and have secured solid funding. You already have a client base. Both your team and revenue are growing. You are cash positive and not thinking about raising more money any time soon.
So, do you need an investment deck now?
The answer is yes! Regardless of whether you intend on raising money in the short term having an updated investment deck is a great exercise to help you figure out the best ways to grow your business and make sure you are on track with your long term plan. And even if you already have investors, you should show them how business is doing on a recurring basis.
If you are just getting started with your own funding, you may want to see how profitable in the long run your idea can be. You never know when you will have the opportunity. You may be approached by investors or an accelerator program may appear in the near future. You will want to be ready with a clear view of where you are and where you’re going on paper.
An investment deck is your company’s story and vision on “paper”.
Your investment deck is a tool for you and your team to use to continue to sell your idea and grow. Firstly, creating one is key but also keeping it up to date as your business evolves is important. As your company grows and changes, you may pivot, add new offerings, new expert team members, etc. It’s important to express your growth somewhere tangible.
What should you include in an investment deck?
Your investment deck should be a record of your company’s growth as well as a blueprint for the path forward. Your investment deck should also show why your team is the winning horse to bet on, so to speak; why you are the experts and how you are equipped to bring the next step of your vision to reality.
Areas you want to cover:
Your most concise value proposition:
Early in your deck, you want to clearly and concisely state what value your company provides. Ideally, in one phrase. For example, for Beamer ours is “The best way to keep users engaged and updated.” We go into the specifics of why that is later, but you understand immediately what we provide to our clients. This concise message is the elevator pitch we share everywhere because it’s simple and everyone gets it. This should be communicated early to the viewer so they know why you exist and what they could be a part of.
Why you exist: the pain point:
“Pitch the problem, not the solution” – Dave McClure, founder of 500 Startups, VC
Why did you create your product or service? Why do customers need you? You have to prove to any stakeholder why this product or service needs to exist and why customers, let alone them, would buy into it. Take a slide to demonstrate the need. Using as much real world data as possible to prove the need to great.
Market size and your potential share:
Describe for investors who your buyer and what your niche is. Try to estimate the market size and what share of that market you aim to take over (or already have). For example, our target at Beamer is mainly SaaS companies. Our investment deck has stats about the SaaS market globally, how it’s growing, and what the potential sales are for us. It can be hard to estimate but you still want to show the potential.
Show your track record: Proof that you are the solution
You want to show traction and adoption by the customers you said needed you. Include data on your growth and include relevant and powerful milestones. Your potential stakeholders would love to see proof of your growth and adoption by your target market. Show them the signs that this is working. Additionally, show projections. Lay out what the potential to go from here looks like to get them excited about joining you in any capacity.
Show the most important KPIs:
Particularly for SaaS companies, there are a few KPIs that investors and other stakeholders look for specifically that you will want to include in your investment deck. There are engagement metrics that show how valuable users find your product as a solution you will also want to include.
In addition, you want to show how your business is growing and how profitable it can be in the long run. You will need to show financial metrics to prove this: a few examples are:
- Monthly recurring revenue
- Churn rate
- Lifetime value
- Quick ratio
Beyond just a product, often people are what bring others in. Show your team’s expertise, especially if you’re growing. It’s one thing to have a good product and service but to keep it relevant and the strategy moving in the right direction, you need to right team. Stakeholders know that. Express why your team are the ones to do it. Show accomplishments and expertise in specific areas that show capability to bring your vision to life.
Your next steps:
Now that you’ve shown you have a desired solution to a real problem and it’s working, show stakeholders where you plan on improving. A stagnant product or service is not going to excel. You want to include projections on growth and profit and loss management. Outline what you plan on reinvest and spending on: more marketing budget, more advertisement, additional features and new development projects, etc. Show how you plan to grow and change to stay relevant and the right solution for your users.
Let’s talk about formatting:
Your pitch deck is meant to be something informative but digestible. Your deck should stay under 15 slides and be detailed enough to answer top questions of stakeholders but also brief enough to where it’s not boring or overwhelming. Try to focus on expressing the most impactful information in a clear and concise way. Eliminate as much “fluff” as possible.
Your pitch deck should be branded and match the rest of your material and website. It should be clear who the viewer is learning about. Design should be clean and easy to read. Try to remember that this investment deck will likely be viewed on various mediums. There is a chance it may be printed, sent as a PDF, viewed on Keynote and Microsoft PowerPoint, and opened in preview via email. Make sure to keep standard size settings to ensure it doesn’t get cut off or distorted when send. Think about how this will look if styles don’t translate and colors are lost in printing. Eliminate extra design elements that may cause problems when changing mediums. Keep fonts to ones that are recognized across systems. You also want to make sure to communicate data in a visual way. Just like too many words can be confusing, so can too many numbers. Where you can, visually present numbers with charts and graphs. They are much more impactful and clear.
Keeping your investment deck up to date also helps internally with your own team’s planning and vision. For founders, it helps you to keep your product and services aligned with your greater vision in all areas of the business. It’s a great way to summarize your focus and communicate that internally.
For an easy way to keep everyone up to date on the changes and improvements you’re implementing, try Beamer free on your website and in your app.
Ps. Here is a link to a list of 17 amazing pitch decks inspired by real businesses and startups for you to get some ideas!