What is the importance of financial projections in your pitch deck?

Financial projections and models still play a crucial role in business plans and planning. You know you need them, but what should they include? What is the purpose and benefit for you and others? How might they have the power to rocket or wreck your business?

What Are Financial Projections In Pitch Decks?

Financial projections are a key staple in every pitch deck. No matter whether you are crafting an extensive traditional pitch deck, a modern one-page business plan, or a trendy slide style plan, there should be some basic financial projections. If not for others who might read it, at least for yourself.

Financial projections show the potential of the business. They answer questions like:

  • How much can you make?
  • Is this even a business idea worth pursuing?
  • Is it profitable enough to be sustainable over the long run?
  • What will be the ROI on your time?
  • What types of investors or buyers might there be for this business?
  • How long will it take to breakeven? 
  • How much do you need to sell to hit your goals?

When figuring out the importance of financial projections in your pitch deck, keep in mind that your financial projections are forecasts that layout what could happen, and what the potential is for this venture given certain circumstances.

Remember that storytelling plays a key role in fundraising and you will need capital to scale things up. This is being able to capture the essence of the business in 15 to 20 slides. For a winning deck, 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.

What Numbers & Elements Are Included In Pitch Deck Financial Projections?

How much you need to include depends on what stage you are at and what you are using this business plan for. 

If you are still in the exploratory stages of creating a business, then your financial projects will probably be very simple. Especially if this is your first startup business and you haven’t done the detailed math yet.

As you are thinking about the importance of financial projections in your pitch deck, remember that you might just start with:

  • Number of customers
  • Amount of revenues
  • Expenses
  • Profit margins
  • Gross profits

These projections will typically cover the first 12 months (sometimes by month), and then years 2 through 5. 

If you are already in business, then you have real data and numbers you can include. You can benchmark your forecast against the current reality and past performance. You can layout out realistic revenues and all of your fixed and variable expenses, and net profits or losses.

What Should Financial Projections Look Like In A Pitch Deck?

If you are being detailed, and are working on a comprehensive business plan for your own knowledge, then you may have some in-depth breakdowns showing your costs, budgets, research, and assumptions that culminate in your financial projections. This makes them real, not just an amateur guess.

When we are specifically speaking about projections, this is shown in a table or inserted spreadsheet. This is a critical component when wondering about the importance of financial projections in your pitch deck.

How many columns and rows you have really depends on how much detail you want to include. It is always good to have a simplified version for quick reference and for others to digest the key metrics. You may reuse this in your pitch decks. 

You can go into more detailed breakdowns in separate sheets for internal reference. 

Also below is a video where I cover in detail how to create a pitch deck and where you will be able to see how to place your financial projections in your pitch deck.

What’s The Purpose Of Financial Projections In A Pitch Deck?

What/s your why for creating financial projections in your pitch deck?

1) Licensing

Some industries require operators to be licensed. In this process you may have to provide copies of your business plan to get approval. 

2) Loans & Grants

Some bank loans and especially grant applications can require copies of your business plan. They want to see you are legitimate, have thought through your plans, are a good risk, and are a good bet for them.

3) Equity Fundraising

One of the most common uses for financial projections today is in equity fundraising. You may be presenting your plans in a one-pager format or a slide-based pitch deck. In any case you can carry over your financial projections to display in all of these formats. 

Potential investors want to see that you have done your homework, have a solid business model, and the types of returns they are seeking are possible. 

4) Recruiting Others

This is one of the most important and high-value purposes of financial projections.

These projections will often be used as a recruiting tool. Not only for investors but for advisors and consultants. It can really make a difference in recruiting co-founders and key team members. If you are offering options or shares to sweeten your offer, they want to know how much that stock could be worth one day. 

Perhaps even more importantly, they want to know how big of a contribution they can have in the industry and world by joining you. How important is this work they will be a part of? 

It also helps to maintain focus and clarity on the milestones you are all working towards after you join forces.

5) Spotting Holes In Your Initial Idea

New business ideas start with a lot of assumptions. Some may simply require small tweaks and iterations on the way. Others can be big deal-breakers or show you are way off base with your initial business model. 

The process of creating these financial projections will help you evaluate cash and cash flow needs, potential profitability, weaknesses, and profit margins. This is all great material to get feedback on from advisors who can help you see what you might have overlooked.

Summary

Financial projections are a vital part of your pitch deck. They will validate and help perfect your ideas and tactics. They can also make all the difference in getting the money you need, surrounding yourself with the best team.

Hope this provided some insights as you are diving into the importance of financial projections in your pitch deck.

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