Neil Patel

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How to share your traction in a pitch deck? In other words, what is the best way to demonstrate traction in your pitch deck?

Showing traction is one of the key elements in startup fundraising. So, what are investors looking for? What is the best way to display it in your deck? If you are coming up short, how do you boost your velocity?

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The business idea is probably actually one of the least impactful factors when it comes to getting your startup funded. Experienced repeat founders and investors know that these factors can really be far more indicative of future success, fundability at future rounds, and longevity. Here are some of the critical elements of your sales plan template.

The Team

Do you have a strong team? Not just a smart team with degrees from well-known universities, but team members who are right for this project, have good and well-rounded business acumen, and the serious grit it is going to take to keep marching through all of the daily challenges? Everything else may change, but if you have the right team, something will work out in the end.

Focus

IQ, deep technical experience, big vision and creativity, and hustle can all yield zero tangible results without focus. You have to be dialed in and have the blinders on to really move the needle and stay headed in the right direction.

The pitch deck is a significant test of focus. 99% of entrepreneurs fail right here. Can you resist all the temptations, and produce a short, clean, simple, and focused pitch deck? If not, they probably don’t even need to swipe to the traction slide, because you aren’t going to get enough.

The Problem

The problem you are setting out to solve is far more important than your intended solution and product or business model. Pick the right problem and demonstrate you have supreme clarity on it, and you’ll have a solid foundation for generating traction.

Traction

While all of the above is vitally important, traction will make or break you. Not just in terms of getting funding, but in running your business.

Keep in mind that in fundraising storytelling is everything. In this regard for a winning pitch deck to help you here, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.

Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.

The Big Deal About Traction

What’s so important about traction? Why is it such a big deal?

Aside from setting the right foundation for your venture to grow, traction should probably be your biggest focus internally as well.

Firstly, gaining traction shows proof of your concept and demand for a solution to the problem you are working on. After all, investors are pitched with all kinds of fantastic sounding ideas, and slick decks, and sales lines all day long, every day.

The only one way to really differentiate the 90% that will never be more than hype and an idea, and the ones that will actually work is results.

Traction shows that you are really capable of executing and creating meaningful progress. There’s not much that beats that.

Your traction also indicates how fast you can grow your business. While growth is never a consistent straight line on its own, your traction can be a strong signal of the multiples that may be possible for investors and how fast they may expect a return on their investment.

What Is Traction In A Pitch Deck?

Traction is progress and growth.

There is more than one way to share your traction in a pitch deck, depending on your startup, focus, and what you have to work with.

Examples of this may include:

How To Project Your Traction In A Pitch Deck

To share your traction in a pitch deck focus on just one metric. Use that to track, display, focus on growing, and as the metric of success before the next milestone, and asking for more funds.

Display this prominently on your dedicated traction slide. This is typically done in graph form.

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You can also drive this home by showing your growth in this traction metric on your timeline.

Even as you’re understanding how to share your traction with potential funding targets, check out this video I have put together on how to share information with investors.

How Much Traction In A Pitch Deck Is Enough?

How much traction is enough to show?

Different types of investors at different stages in your startup will have varying expectations of speed of traction.

In the earliest stages, investors will be expecting you to show week over week growth. Then that may expand to month over month, and later, year over year.

Eventually, growth will slow once you get big. In the early days, you may be up against other startups growing 10% or more per week or month, and at least 50% per year.

Questions To Expect On Your Traction

After presenting your pitch deck you are going to be fielding questions from investors. Acing these questions is going to greatly determine whether you get the funds or not.

Obviously, a great, clean pitch deck is very lean, so some of the follow-up questions you should be prepared for on your traction will probably include:

  • How well are you retaining customers?
  • Sales from new versus existing customers?
  • Percentage of refunds given?
  • How are your reviews?
  • Forecasts for traction over the next year?
  • Profit margins on this traction?

Ways To Boost Traction

  • Join a startup accelerator or incubator
  • Partner up for distribution and sales
  • Get scrappy with your marketing
  • Leverage affiliates, franchisees, or influencers
  • Publish more content
  • Make sure your team is refocused on this traction metric

Summary

Traction is one of the most important factors for getting your startup funded. It’s one tangible proof point that can differentiate you from all the hyped-up sales pitches with no results. Hone in on it, and excel here to get the financial fuel your venture needs. Learn how to share your traction in a pitch deck carefully and you’re sure to acquire all the funding you need.

You may find interesting as well our free library of business templates. There you will find every single template you will need when building and scaling your business completely for free. See it here.

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Neil Patel

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want me to help you with your fundraising, just book a call.

Book a Call