Understanding when is a pitch deck normally used is a critical skill every entrepreneur must learn.
Starting and expanding a business is not always as easy as it may seem. It requires both hard work and patience.
In the early stages of development, there is an aura of “hurry and wait” as you see an opportunity, strike to grab it, and then wait for the results.
Then there is so much to do in between, from basic operational activities to making trivial and critical short-term decisions. Sometimes you end up losing focus of priorities.
In fact, your priorities will constantly keep on transforming and shifting. This is an underlying reality of the dynamic corporate world, and especially for startups.
As an entrepreneur, it’s crucial that you start with the basics. The timing of every action is very important. Even the slightest wrong move can impact the outcome of your efforts.
In this article, we will be highlighting the importance of a pitch deck and take a look at when it should be used.
Timing is a crucial factor for achieving great results. So, when do you think is the right time to start working on your pitch deck?
And when to use it for advancing gains and increasing the chance of investment? Let’s find out….
The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
Why Do You Need a Pitch Deck?
A pitch deck is a presentation that pitches your company or idea to the audience. A pitch deck is an introductory tool that primarily helps promote your business as an opportunity for the investor to invest his money.
It tells the story of your startup, it showcases your team, the problem your products and services can solve. It displays the prospects of growth, market size, challenges and risks, ROIs, profits.
You’ll also include other competitive and analytical details needed by the investor to make an informed decision.
The outcome the entrepreneur really wants from a pitch deck is not the actual funding, but a next-level progressive meeting with the investor.
It can also be used to inform and educate your customers, partners, and any other concerned party about your company, your products, and other relevant details.
A pitch deck can be sent in an email with supporting content and information. Or it can be presented as slides live in-person or online.
The pitch deck slide presentation is much more effective because it offers visuals and the ability to adapt your verbal messaging to the specific target audience you are in front of.
Less text and more visuals help you better grab the attention of the audience.
A pitch deck presentation can be delivered live to a larger audience, one-to-one to investors, or through online visual aids and video conferencing applications such as Zoom and Skype.
A Pitch Deck Delivers Critical Information
In short, a pitch deck is a presentation that is designed to give a quick yet informative overview of
- The Business Model
- The Market
- The Startup Idea
- Future Goals and Targets
- Plan of Action
- Investor Opportunity.
A good pitch deck will not only be aesthetically attractive but also precise. It will provide the latest information about your idea with accurate data in a visually and analytically appealing way.
Yet, knowing when is a pitch deck normally used can make a difference in its success.
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What Type of Pitch Deck Is Best For You and When
A pitch deck can take different forms and structures. The type and timing of the pitch deck will depend upon the purpose you are creating it for.
The right structure, informational content, presentation style, and timing can help you achieve better outcomes for 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.
Types of Pitch Decks and Their Uses
Short Intro Deck
This is a short teaser deck that can be sent broadly as an introduction. It can be blasted out, shared, and used to spike interest.
It doesn’t contain any company secrets or other information which you might want an NDA to protect. 10 slides or less is ideal.
This is just to trigger a further conversation or to get a meeting with investors. As well as to recruit new talent.
Slide Show Presentation
This is a pitch deck that you will be presenting live online or in person. It can still be very lightweight in terms of slide count as you will be talking around your slides.
This also gives you the opportunity to tailor your pitch to the specific crowd you are in front of. But, do make the effort to understand when is a pitch deck normally used.
Longer In-Depth Pitch Deck
It is really hard for founders to be disciplined enough to create a short pitch deck, no matter how important and necessary it is.
This is your chance to create that longer, more in-depth deck, with a lot of the extra details you just feel compelled you have to lay out there.
Not that this may not help you raise a penny in additional funding in the early stages of your startup. It may turn off more investors than it attracts.
It may be more beneficial for later-stage startups which already have compiled a lot of data and may have multiple products. Orhave even acquired several other companies already.
Still, if you just can’t help yourself and resist it, you can use this opportunity to create a 12 to 20 slide deck and host it in your virtual data room.
The objective is to attract any serious and technical investors who really need that extra meat to make a decision.
Note that this never replaces your shorter intro deck or live presentation. This should never be shown until they’ve already become interested in funding you.
You can also spill out everything in your head into this longer deck first, and then have a professional condense your deck and tighten it up for shorter versions.
Side by side, understand when is a pitch deck normally used.
So, what is the right time for a pitch deck?
Just like every other thing in business, you need to have the right timing for your pitch deck creation and presentation as well.
Depending upon your requirements, the need you are trying to fulfill, stage of business, and other organizational factors, you should be able to assess the best time for the job.
It can take a while to create an effective deck, so be sure you start well ahead of your needs. You must keep in mind that the best talent to help you may be booked up with other projects for weeks in advance too.
With fundraising rounds often taking six months or more to close, you should be almost a year ahead of your financial needs when it comes to starting to design your decks.
So, when are the times when pitch decks are normally used?
- Recruiting Help: When originally recruiting advisors, key team members, executives, and cofounders it really helps to have a deck on hand.
- Initial Fundraising: Even if you are just starting out soliciting friends and family, or applying to a startup accelerator you’ll want and need a strong pitch deck.
- Expansion & Growth: Once you start raising money you’ll never stop. You must keep refreshing your deck for the next round. Savvy entrepreneurs are even raising their next round before they close the current one.
- Preparing To Sell Your Company: You’ll eventually get to a point when you have to choose between raising another round of investor capital or seeking some type of exit. Or, an IPO, or M&A transaction. The outcome isn’t always clear. Having your deck ready can keep your options open and maximize your menu of opportunities.
Timing your pitch deck right Is crucial for business success.
For entrepreneurs and business professionals, it’s crucial to understand the importance of learning when is a pitch deck normally used.
Sometimes it could be too early to use your pitch deck and sometimes it could be too late to try it out.
The right timing is critical for accomplishing the goals and objectives you want to achieve with the pitch deck. So, keep a lookout for the right opportunities and signs.
Although there is no given perfect time for the job, we can highlight some signs and stages where you should assess your requirements and get your pitch deck on the road.
Here is a brief overview of this analysis.
Too Early For a Pitch Deck
- It will be too early to start and present your pitch deck if:
- You do not have a business idea but you want to be an entrepreneur
- You have a business idea but you have not deeply done your homework and due diligence
- You’ve done your homework but have not worked out the financial feasibility
- You’re ready with the funding to start your own venture without anyone’s help and a strong advisory network
Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be learning about best practices for pitch decks and securing templates and a team to help when you are ready.
The process of filing in a pitch deck template can also help greatly in working through the details, fleshing out ideas, and refining your concept.
Too Late for Pitch Decks
Although it is never too late to do anything in life, sometimes you may be off track. So, even if you fall under this category for being late on creating a pitch deck there’s no need to despair. Just work to find the best option for yourself.
It can take weeks or months to craft a supremely great pitch deck. Though with the help of a copywriter, graphic designer, and a strong pitch deck template, you can also hustle one together in two weeks or less.
Or even piece one together for a spontaneous last-minute investor meeting.
Even as you’re learning about the correct timing for your pitch, you’ll also need detailed information about how to create a pitch deck. Check out this video I have created explaining in detail how it’s done. You’re sure to find it helpful.
The Right Times When a Pitch Deck Can Be Most Effective
- Applying for Investor Funding
- Going for a Pitch Competition or Startup Expo
- You have a Scheduled Investor Meeting
- You have been connected with the Investor from an introduction
- Meeting Prospective Partners
- Going to a Business Networking Event
- Business Idea Incubation Events
- Hiring Team Members and Partners
The pitch deck is the foremost line of communication between you as an entrepreneur and the potential investors.
Whether you are reaching out through email or one-to-one, it is the decisive tool for future interaction and subsequent investment meetings, and getting funded.
A pitch deck can prove to be one of the most helpful presentations for a young and growing company.
Having many benefits and result-oriented utilizations, you must have a pitch deck ready for your business at all times.
Keep it short, story-like, and backed by data. Ensure you update it regularly too.
It provides the means and ways for engaging, exciting, and impressing your potential investors and other critical stakeholders whenever and wherever the need arises.
A well-crafted pitch deck is your partner in leading your way towards your strategic goals and their successful accomplishment.
It is important that an entrepreneur should not confuse a pitch deck with a business plan. Both are equally important but designed for different purposes and audiences.
So, make sure to create two different documents and presentations.
Learn the Correct Timing for a Pitch Deck
The timing of creating and knowing when a pitch deck is normally used is of key importance.
Having missed out on a good opportunity, or not being able to impress someone at an investor meeting can bring an end to your business idea even before it started.
Catching up with this lost time and making up for a loss caused due to the absence of a good pitch deck can sometimes be irreversible.
So, the best way is to keep yourself and your company prepared for different scenarios, you should put together a pitch deck that can be used for your upcoming business goals and projections.
Thinking ahead might save you money, time, and effort, not to mention the opportunity to make your ideas a reality.
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.