Starting your own business can be an overwhelming task, especially if it is your first time building a business from the bottom-up. You will quickly realize the only one available to complete all the assignments is you, which means your time is a precious commodity. Writing a full-blown business plan is probably an intimidating task at the top of your list. However, a standard business plan is not necessarily needed for your business to open up shop.
Guy Kawasaki, author of The Art of the Start , advocates a pitch deck method that most entrepreneurs with basic computer knowledge can learn. Skip Shuda, founder of CheapRevolution, put together this six minute instructional video to explain the methodology in detail. The ten slides in the Pitch Deck are summarized below for your convenience.
The 10 Slide Pitch Deck
1. What It Is – Your first slide should contain the name of your business and what your intentions are for your business. Also, feel free to add any contact information on this slide.
2. The Problem – The purpose of this slide is to get your audience to agree with you that there is a problem. You do not necessarily need to explain all the details of your problem to your listeners, but you do need to convince the group that there is a problem. Use bullet points to help you achieve this goal.
3. The Solution – Present your solution for the problem to your audience. Explain how your business will address the problem being discussed. Again, use bullet points to condense and emphasize your solution.
4. Business Model – How is your business going to make money? What business model (e.g. fee for service, license fees, product sale, etc.) are you going to use to produce profit for your business? Explain to your audience how that particular model will produce income for your business. This slide will be particularly important to potential investors.
5. Underlying Magic – What is going to stand out about your business? What does your business have that other businesses in your niche may not have?
6. Marketing & Sales – How are you going to get the word out? How are you going to close deals? Do you have any projections? Create this slide to outline the marketing plan for your business.
7. Competitors – What does the competitive landscape look like? Show your audience who your potential competitors may be in your particular niche. Why do you consider them to be competitors? How do they stack up compared to your business? What are they doing differently? Can any of them be potential partners?
8. The Team – Your audience will want to know who the members of your team are. What have they done in the past? Which team member is accountable for what assignment?
9. Projections – This is primarily your financial slide. If you are unable to put together a financial slide by yourself, it is important to hire someone that can. You want financial investors to have confidence in your financial model and assumptions.
10. Status Timeline Mometum – What is your current status? What does your timeline look like? Can you demonstrate momentum? What have you accomplished recently? What do you plan to focus on next?
Your first pitch deck should be put together in only a few hours, as a general base. From there, go through your deck to pick out what needs to be worked on and improved. Create a sounding board of friendly listeners to test your ideas. Always remember to present, listen, iterate, change your version level and repeat the process. With the information above, your business will be one step closer to heading in the right direction.