What is the real cost of a poor pitch deck?
Your pitch deck is an extremely pivotal asset that can either unlock an incredible future for your startup venture or cost you millions.
Getting the deck right is a big deal, and not just for successfully and efficiently raising capital at your next round. Its value should go well beyond that. So, how much do you stand to lose by failing to get the right help here? What are the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make when creating a pitch deck?
Don’t Just Ship It
There are many scenarios in which startups and entrepreneurs do need more hustle and forward motion. Most often they need to focus on just shipping it, before perfecting it.
Pitch decks are one of the rare exceptions to this when you really can’t afford to blow it. Do move fast, and get it out the door. Just make sure it is polished and effective first.
Blowing your pitching opportunities is something you may not come back from. You may have billions of customers to choose from, but there certainly are not so many well-fitting investors, cofounders, and advisors.
You may not get the details of your business plan right, you might be totally off on your first couple of products, and you may have marketing plans that fail. You can bounce back from that. Yet, if you totally mess up with your ideal investors, you might not get another chance. Avoid this potential disaster and the real cost of a poor pitch deck.
Considering how critical a good pitch deck is, you’ll need to be careful about the dos and don’t when creating a pitch deck. Check out this video where I have explained some of the key factors to keep in mind.
How Much Will A Poor Pitch Deck Cost You?
How much money are you trying to raise in this funding round? That is the minimum at stake. Whether it is $1M or $100M, it is an expensive opportunity to mess up on.
It isn’t just this round either. Because if you don’t close this round, you won’t get to the next or the next either. How much are companies in your space raising overall? $100M, several billion dollars?
How much would your business eventually be worth at an exit if you could raise the rounds of funding you need? Tens of billions maybe?
You could even go further and count all of the lost compounding gains on that capital after an exit.
Perhaps even more important is the impact your startup business could have, and what that would mean for your family, team members and customers, and the communities around them. That could really be priceless.
Don’t panic and overthink or over-engineer it and get stuck here. Do know what makes a good pitch deck, and the mistakes to avoid and get going. Understand the real cost of a poor pitch deck.
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 Most Common Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Pitch Deck
Having too many slides in your deck is the most common blunder most entrepreneurs make. How many do you have? 20? 16? Can you get it down to 10? You should be able to as an early-stage startup with no revenues yet.
If you are raising $1M with a 10 slide deck, each is worth at least $100k. If you are trying to raise $10M, then each is worth $1M, and so on.
Even if you invested two or three thousand dollars in your pitch deck the returns would be immense.
Too many slides are the first red flag that you really don’t know what you are doing.
Get A Qualified Second Opinion
Always get a second opinion from a pro before you start sending out your deck. You may not be able to incorporate everyone’s advice. Just as you can’t with all of your customers. Yet, as you ask for feedback you will find common threads that you can implement.
It’s Too Cluttered
Fewer slides don’t mean you cram in 20 slides of text and images into 10. You need to keep them clean and simple. Focus on 2-3 main takeaways. Use images and charts so you don’t need as much text. Eliminate all of the filler words. Use a large font size.
Not The Right Team
Having the right team to execute on this venture is more important than your idea. Make sure you are pulling out and highlighting the strength of your team and its relevance to this mission. If you aren’t confident you have a strong enough team, then go recruit the cofounders, executives and advisors you need to round out the skill sets and experience you have on board.
The Problem Is Weak
Make sure you are conveying how urgent this problem is, how big it is, how much it is growing, and the great clarity you have on it.
Not Understanding The Fundraising Game
A great deck is vitally important to raising the money you need to fuel your startup. However, just like a great product alone isn’t going to get far without equally great marketing, even a fantastic deck is going to rely on having a good handle on the overall fundraising game.
Fundraising takes strategy, building relationships, marketing, PR, and a lot of grit. You also have to set it up well, get it out there in the right hands, and ace the follow up too.
The real cost of a poor pitch deck is huge. Don’t underestimate how expensive blowing this will be for you. Get it right by knowing these common pitch deck mistakes not to make and check out proven pitch deck templates that you can customize and get running with fast.
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.