Neil Patel

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Are you wondering what your pitch deck must answer?

If the survival and ability to grow your startup depends on getting funds in, know that getting funded can all ride on your pitch deck. 

So, aside from the slide titles and the slides you need to include in your pitch deck, what do you need to answer for potential investors to get from that first connection to money in the bank? You can bet investors have a lot of questions. If you leave the most important ones unanswered in your deck and presentation, you are already giving them a reason to move onto the next pitch. At a minimum, it puts the ball in their court and is going to make it a lot harder to convince them and come back from. 

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The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks

Make sure you are answering these pressing concerns, and fill up your round fast.

Who You Are

One of the top questions investors have is who you are. Who are your co-founders, key team players, and advisors? This is even more important in the early stages of fundraising. Often the decision to fund you or not will rest almost exclusively on who you are as founders. Even far more than your business idea.

What is your expertise in this space? What are your relevant accomplishments?

Why are you the one team to bet on? Why are you the best choice for taking care of their capital and winning this space? Very often Seed stage ideas completely change, are thrown out or fail. That’s fine as long as you protect their capital and spin it into something even better. They want to know you won’t just burn their money and quit. 

How Big Is The Market?

This is one of the most pressing questions investors will have and one of the critical things to keep in mind when wondering what your pitch deck must answer. It’s one of the few data points and statistics you really must-have.

It’s also worth demonstrating the potential growth of the market for the future and being sure it is not a declining market. How big could it be in 10 years? How big is it beyond the US? What is your real potential share of the market?

If it isn’t in the billions, you aren’t thinking big enough. Find a bigger idea.

You Are Solving A Hair On Fire Problem

When wondering what your pitch deck must answer, remember that ideas and even technology are relatively cheap today. Execution can make a big difference. Yet, it is vital to understand how markets work.

While it is investors’ prerogative to put their money to work, and get it out of their accounts and to work in businesses, serial entrepreneur Murli Thirumale says it is also customers’ mission to save money and keep it in their accounts. 

Unless you have a burning and urgent problem that consumers really need, and it really offers them enough value to take the risk with you, then you may not make nearly as many sales as you expect. 

This is becoming harder and harder for startups as consumers get burned out on scams and companies they can’t trust. We are also busier than ever, taking the time to make a purchase or research one even more costly and risky. 

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You cannot just count on people who say your idea is nice and they would buy it. It is a completely different thing for them to actually part with the precious dollars and proves it. 

Is The Pricing Viable?

Obviously, the business model needs to make sense. So, does the pricing. Now and long term so you aren’t burning people or going bankrupt.

If the pricing doesn’t make sense, nothing else is going to matter. You can have the smartest and most beautiful product in the world. Yet, if it isn’t priced right for your ideal customers, then this probably isn’t going anywhere.

Make sure you are really digging into the data, and not just taking manipulated figures from the media.

What Are You Going To Do With Their Money?

How will you use the funds from this startup fundraising round?

Are you going to head off to celebrate in Vegas for a week? Are you going to pay yourself and your family a fat salary? Are you going to use it to build even more prototypes and models?
How big is the market for your product, service, and business? This is a critical factor. Something that I cover extensively on the video below, where we go in detail on how to create a pitch deck.

Or are you going to use it to hire other top talent? To replicate your recent successes and scale, with a relatively predictable rate of return?

How Are You Addressing The Low Risk & High Return Option On The Table?

When thinking about what your pitch deck must answer, you need to know that as with any investment, investors are looking for the optimal balance between low risk and high returns. How can you demonstrate that you are a great bet you are in this respect?

Market size, profitability, and revenues are all benefits in terms of returns. Especially, if you can show a track record, contracts, and partnership deals. While investors might be happy with a 10x return, they are typically investing on the basis a 100x return is possible.

On the safety side, what assets do you have? Who are the other notable investors they are investing alongside and have done their due diligence on you? Have you proven you can build, scale and exit a startup before? How are you showcasing this in your business plan or strategic roadmap?

How Are You Unique?

What is truly unique about your business, product or service? What competitive advantage do you have that will protect their investment from your competition?

How Have You Proven You Can Drive Progress?

How have you proven you can make things happen? What traction have you clocked up? How have you shown you’ll push through despite challenges and plateaus?

How Do They Get Ahold Of You To Give You Money?

When it comes down to what your pitch deck must answer, don’t forget to include your contact information. It would be a tragedy to impress investors with your pitch deck, only to have left out your email and phone number. 

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.

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Neil Patel

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want help with your fundraising or acquisition, just book a call

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