The 10 Slides Every Pitch Deck Needs

A startup can summarize its business plan outline in a 10 slide pitch deck. You can access the powerpoint file below in a PDF format. In order to get the version which is fully editable in powerpoint, you will need to subscribe to get the download link. You just have to insert your own information.

Business Plan Outline and Sample Pitch Deck

I previously wrote an article on how to write a business plan for a start up or new company called Pitch Deck – What Investors Want to Know. The following article is a companion to that article and summarizes the key elements to address in your pitch deck and business plan outline.

A pitch deck is essentially a visual deck that you present orally when in front of investors. It can help you get your funding – or not. That’s why it’s important to make your pitch deck the best it can be so you can be sure you actually do get funding.

This article will help you do just that. Investors invest in the people and the business – and not necessarily the product. A pitch deck helps you quickly explain your business to a potential investor. The goal of an investor is to find the highest return on an investment with the least risks.

The pitch deck presents your business model with your business plan outline in a more easily digestible way that gets to the point about your business. The art of brevity combined with visuals helps tell your story much easier than a 60 page business plan outline. In the age when investors are looking at hundreds of pitches, your pitch deck highlight the important aspects of your business plan and can help them quickly determine if your venture is worth investing or not. Your goal should be to capture their attention so they want to know more. You won’t be able to tell them everything about your business but the pitch deck forces you to focus on the highlights of your business plan outline. Once you have them hooked and can get to the next meeting, then you can tell them more.

A pitch deck is your marketing tool to illustrate your venture’s innovative product or service and business plan outline to help you raise money. The pitch deck shows your vision, team, business model, financials, revenue model, marketing, customer segments, distribution channels and strategy. The pitch deck slides below touch upon all the key questions an investor would ask themselves when evaluating your business idea. Given that you want to be as concise as possible, the use of visuals is important. Use graphs, charts, infographics, illustrations and other visuals to get your point across more easily.

Lastly – it’s important to be authentic, truthful, honest, transparent and up front as much as possible. A savvy investor can see through when you are trying to hide the weaker parts of your venture such as how much revenue you have earned thus far, etc. Being transparent will take you farther in the long run. In many cases, you end up winning the next meeting when the investor believes in you and your team more so than the actual progress of your venture.

A summary of the pitch deck containing your business plan outline is as follows:

  1. Cover Page – introduce the big idea
  2. Overview – Vision & Opportunity
  3. Problem – Describe the problem you are solving and who you are solving it for
  4. Solution – Describe the unique solution with the benefits
  5. Unique Value Proposition
  6. Business Model
  7. Distribution Channels
  8. Competitors
  9. Key Team Members & Stakeholders
  10. The Ask

Access the Sample Pitch Deck Template Powerpoint slides in a PDF format HERE.

Access the Editable PowerPoint template by downloading in the yellow box above or entering your contact information to subscribe to the Entcounsel Newsletter when the Pop Up Box appears when you read this article. You can use this powerpoint to create your own pitch deck in minutes.

You can also just view the slides on Slideshare.

The following summarizes a good pitch deck in 10 slides or less.

Business Plan Outline Cover Slide

The purpose of your pitch deck with your business plan outline is to hook the investor and get them to want to know more. You want to give them just enough information to get excited but not too much so that they get overwhelmed.

In your cover slide, announce your big idea and describe it in one sentence.

Remember to be concise and simple using plain language when telling your story. Include the primary benefit.

The cover slides captures the reader’s attention and give them a sense of your branding and establishes the tone for the rest of the pitch.

Include your logo, capturing visual (photograph or illustration) and title such as “XXX Presentation”. Add a simple image that communicates and encapsulates what your vision, brand, business and product are all about.

Please ensure you also include a disclaimer like the one below and ensure that you are in compliance with any securities laws when asking for money. An example is provided below.

This pitch deck aims to provide information and highlights of our our venture, XXXX as of XXX date. Material contained herein is intended to provide general information and is subject to a more detailed through business plan which is available on request. It is subject to our legal and business advisor’s review. The material in here is confidential and should not be circulated to any third party.

10 Slide PItch Deck

SLIDE 1 – The Vision, Opportunity & Overview

Describe the opportunity and add tag line or mission statement. The mission statement is like your “elevator pitch” and summarizes your venture by identifying in one sentence the essence of what you are all about. You describe the problem and how you are going to solve it. You should be able to communicate your “elevator pitch” in 60 seconds or less. You can also compare your venture to another company to help the listener understand your vision more easily. However, make your comparison is truly comparable and not over exaggerated.

The opportunity describes your industry and how your venture fits in. You can outline the landscape and describe trends, market size, growth potential and you will enter it in an innovative unique way. Demonstrate that you have thoroughly researched this sector. Your venture could be a perfect fit in the market as it is a market that is either exploding or a market that is missing what you have to offer.

For example, “Speakeasy is a speaker’s platform helping conference producers find professional and experienced speakers efficiently and cost effectively”.

“Meal to Go” is a mobile app that lets you describe what the type of dish you want to eat that day, scans restaurants that make and deliver that meal and have it delivered to you within three hours”.

“What to Wear” is the uber for fashion retailers to deliver their clothes from their store to a customer’s home in less than an hour.

Add contact info name, title, address, email and cell number

Add short executive summary of your business venture should be outlined here.

What is your current status (early stage?)?

10 Slide PItch Deck -1

SLIDE 2 – Identify the Problem & Who You Are Solving It For

Identify the problem(s) and how prevalent they are. You can go deeper into this and describe why the problem exists and what is currently in the marketplace to address it. When you describe a need or a problem that resonates with the listener, then you have appealed to their own personal needs which is a very effective hook as opposed to trying to appeal to your needs for money, etc.

Describe the prevalence of the problem so they understand that there is a real desire to find a solution and get them excited about wanting to be part of that solution. When you describe the problem, make sure you also talk about why that problem needs a solution. This will get the investors to empathize with you.

Show customer interviews and surveys as “social proof” to give your presentation more authority. If you can show that your target customers are frustrated with current solutions, then you have just created another reason why your business idea is so compelling.

10 Slide PItch Deck - 2

SLIDE 3 – Identify Your Venture’s Innovative Solution

Describe your products/venture and how your venture has solved the problems you just outlined. Your solution should be unique and different from all the other solutions out there. Your solution should be cost effective and scaleable. Emphasize how your solution solves a pain point that a customer is experiencing.

We solved this problem with the following solution saving time, money and resources

Provide any evidence of validation. It’s also important to point out the benefits of your solution. It’s important to provide proof that your customers love your product.

This is where you can describe your product and explain how it works. If you have a prototype, you can demo it at this time and describe it briefly in the slide. You may also want to bring videos, demos, illustrations, samples etc. Be sure to mention if you have any patents or patents pending or other intellectual property protection when describing your products.

Briefly describe your traction so far and what evidence you have that this will be successful. What are your accomplishments so far and who are your supporters and partners. Do you have a high profile advisory team? These elements give your presentation “social proof” and the reputations of the advisory team will rub of on your venture. If these high profile individuals are endorsing your venture, then it’s more to success and they take attention.

10 Slide PItch Deck - 3

SLIDE 4 – Unique Value Proposition

Answer the following to show your vision/product and mission:

  • What Are you Offering (product/service)
  • The Value of Your Offering (need/problem)
  • Who Will Benefit from this Value? (target customer)
  • How is your product/service different and unique?

You can check out Copyblogger’s video on the Unique Selling Proposition HERE.

10 Slide PItch Deck -4

SLIDE 5 – Business Model (How You Make Money)

A business model describes the value an organization provides with profitable key revenue streams. It essentially shows an investor how you will make money.

Describe the primary financial model to monetize. Is it subscription, commission, ads, revenue per transaction? Outline the financial model and describing revenue, gross profit, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Describe any assets you may have.

Identify customers, financials, marketing plan, cost structure and revenue stream.

An investor wants to know that the costs of your venture make sense for the revenue that will be generated from it. An investor will ask themselves if the revenue projections make sense based on costs. If you have current sales, you should disclose this.

This is where you can demonstrate how well you know the market, customers and potential revenues. You can point out how you will reach your customer and what is the acquisition cost to obtain each customer.

10 Slide PItch Deck - 5

Slide 6 – Distribution Channels

Identify your unfair distribution advantage, market size, partners, customers, channels etc.

What is the market size? Describe your growth strategy and how you will acquire and retain customers. You will also want to talk about product innovation and how your keep developing your solution so it stays above the competition.

10 Slide PItch Deck - 6

Slide 7 – Competitors

Name all your competitors and what market they are in (whether they are in direct competition or overlap). This is an important slide as it helps investors determine market and product risk. There are always competitors so be sure to really research them.

How does your company’s products/services differentiate from others?

Identify all challenges/risks.

What advantages do you have over others?

  • Proprietary technology?
  • Patents? Industrial Designs?
  • Copyright?
  • Trademarks?
  • Expertise?
  • Business processes?
  • Networks?
  • Costs?
10 Slide PItch Deck - 7

Slide 8 – The Team & Key Stakeholders

Provide your team’s background, current roles, prior experience, accomplishments, expertise, credentials and work and educational background. Investors would like to work with a team that have experience and expertise in similar technologies and markets. Include founders, key employees, advisors and investors. An advisory board with key industry players helps you establish credibility very quickly.

Typically, your team should include a business executive and technology executive. Investors like to know that team members have worked with known start ups in the past.

You may also want to identify key stakeholders, advisors and investors

Highlight the team’s prior successes and relevant experience

10 Slide PItch Deck - 8

Slide 9 – Key Metrics

What key metrics determine whether your business is succeeding? The key metrics are measured by:

  • customer acquisition costs
  • engagement
  • retention
  • revenue.

How do you measure and evaluate your impact?

Show your growth and highlight press, partnerships and customer success stories.

Use the key metrics to demonstrate traction. If you haven’t launched the product, you can then describe the major milestones for the products, key hires and funding.

10 Slide PItch Deck - 9

Slide 10 – The Ask

A good pitch deck will clearly conclude with what they want from the investor. It is surprising how man miss this slides and expect an investor to figure out a venture’s needs and determine what they will give them.

Make sure you ask what size and type of investment you are seeking. Tie your ask back to the financial model.

Clearly spell out how much money you are asking for and what those funds will be used for. Also describe what you will achieve by a certain time if you receive that money and what those milestones are.

Outline how much capital you are raising and what those terms are (equity? debt? convertible note?)

Set out how you will use the proceeds (i.e. salaries, sales & marketing, new hires, product development, equipment).

What will you do with the funds and what will you accomplish.

Identify any existing investors and who else is participating in this investment round.

Close with a summary of the highlights of your business opportunity.

Business Plan Outline

You can also include press, positive mentions, testimonials etc.

The above summarizes what you should go in your pitch deck when summarizing your business plan outline.

BONUS: When you are doing a slide deck for a service based business, you will need to address additional elements. A brief description of these are outlined below.

See below for customizing your pitch deck for a service based business.

The business plan outline for a service based business is slightly different and so decided to write another article to focused on business plans for those types of businesses. You need the following:

Business Plan Outline Pitch Deck for Service Based Businesses

  1. Cover Sheet
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Executive Summary
  4. Mission Statement
  5. Business Description & Goals
  6. Marketing Plan
    1. Competition – Outline who the competitors will be
    2. Procedures & Systems – outline equipment, business software and other business needs such as office space, parking
    3. Staff – outline the staff you will require along with their job descriptions
    4. Insurance & Professional Fees & Memberships
  7. Financial Plan & Overview
    1. Loans
    2. Employee & personnel costs
    3. Equipment costs
    4. Software costs such as professional services accounting software or practice management software (i.e. Amicus Attorney)
    5. Subscription costs for research (LexisNexis, QuickLaw, etc.)
    6. Office supplies
    7. Lease
    8. Accounting fees

As you can see, the main difference is that a business plan for services is the marketing plan and financial plan and overview.

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