As an entrepreneur, you’ll have many opportunities to present your company and vision for the future. If you want to impress your potential investors and generate interest from them, you need to work on your pitch deck.
What is a pitch deck? How should I make it? What do I need to put in there? Don’t worry. This article tells all about a stunning pitch deck, but most of all, the competition slide. It is perhaps where most entrepreneurs make their mistakes. So let us guide you through the process.
What is a Pitch Deck?
A pitch deck is a pitch presentation with about 10 slides. The presentation should be no more than 20 minutes, but provide an informative overview of your organisation and its prospects. Within these 10 slides and 20 minutes, you need to cover:
The introduction part should include a one-liner that explains your business. If you want to make your brand memorable, make sure to use a logo and colour profile that aligns with what you do. You can put your unique value proposition here. But remember, this slide should be immediately understandable. So don’t shove everything up here.
All of your products and services are tailored for this specific group of people. Make sure you have done enough research to understand them. You can create a persona or empathy canvas to do so. In this slide, you need to include information about the market size and your marketing opportunity.
After you’ve done your research, you need to explain what problem your target group faces. This slide should demonstrate customers’ needs and the necessity for your products and services.
Presenting a problem without a solution is a big no-no. You need a valid solution at hand. Remember to sell it in a way that’s understandable to everyone. You can use visual aids and clear statements to present your products.
You need to present the proof of execution and what you’ve done so far. Common examples are your monthly sales and customer growth, preferably presented in a timeline.
If you just started your business and have seemingly worth presenting, don’t worry. You can always report your progress. For instance, your research on target customers, a survey you conducted, or a team you formed for a specific project. Traction is about validating your practice, showing improvements over time, and reassuring potential investors.
Investors surely want to know how your business makes money. Don’t just give them a financial overview without the actual plan. Everyone can do maths, and a forecast is not as crucial as a detailed understanding of your business plan.
How do you advertise your products and services? How do you sell them to your target audience? You need to present your strategy in detail. So the investors know you understand the market and have what it takes to succeed.
This is where you present your research on competitors. What makes you different from others? What solution do your products and services offer that is better than your competitors? You should be able to provide the information in your competitive analysis.
You need to persuade the investors that you’re the right team for the job. Demonstrate your expertise and experience that enable you to solve the problem. It’s alright if you don’t have a complete team because you need money to recruit more people. But you need to show that you’re aware of your need and that you’ve already found the ideal candidate.
You must not forget the purpose of this pitch deck: to raise money. At the end of the presentation is where you let the investors know what you need from them. Whether it’s for their expertise or funds, you need to ask for them yourself.
It’s important to establish trust, your plan must reassure whatever they bring to the table won’t go to waste.
Why is a Competition Slide Important?
This is your time to show the investors you understand the industry, and what’s been going on there. You present other companies, but what you’re actually doing here is showcasing your unique selling points. It is your chance to differentiate from your competitors on a deeper level.
Here are some questions you need to answer in your competitor slide:
- Who are your direct and indirect competitors?
- What do they offer?
- Who might be your threats in the future? How?
- What will you do about it?
- Why are you better?
- What are your unique selling propositions?
How to Make a Competition Slide
The benefits of your business and the efforts you put in would be visible to the investors if you do the slide right. Here, you can find out how to make an informative competition slide in three steps.
Step 1: Research Your Competitors
Of all slides within a pitch deck, the competition slide is the only part that’s not just about you, but your competitors. You need to make sure to get your facts straight before presenting them.
It’s impossible to have no competition in the industry. You need to do extensive research on your competitors and the new companies emerging. Make sure you understand what they’re doing and study their strategies. The investors need to know what those companies lack and the reason the industry needs your business.
More importantly, don’t research one company only. There must be plenty more out there, whether you’ve heard the companies or not. They might be a threat to take out in the future. It would be embarrassing if your investors know more about the competition than you do. So don’t leave out any information.
Step 2: Use a Head-to-Head Chart
After you gather the information, put it in a table where you can compare your company with your competitors directly. We recommend you to use a head-to-head chart instead of a quadrant diagram. Because the latter only analyses the competition over two variables (axis), whereas a table allows you to compare more information.
The USPs (unique selling propositions) you present here can be:
- The pricing
- The quality
- The features of the product and service
- The material or source of the products and service
Try to use quantitative data to compare the propositions, so it’s easier for the investors to see the comparison. For instance, if the USP of your cosmetics is long-lasting, you need to specify “how much longer”. You can experiment or conduct surveys to get numbers, but don’t make them up. Remember to have a realistic analysis, and don’t make promises you cannot fulfil.
Step 3: Organise the Chart
The companies need to be presented in order. The first column is you, and the rest is based on how big of a threat they are. You want to prioritise your biggest competitor because the investors would ask you who that is in your presentation. Your top two or three competitors would be the ones you spend most time differentiating from.
For the propositions, you need to present them in the order that makes your company attractive. What is your strongest value proposition? What is the biggest differentiator here? Whether it’s the low pricing or the high quality, the most competitive one should be on top.
If you compare a feature that you or a competitor doesn’t have, then leave the block blank. Yet, of course, it’s better to only present the propositions you have. After all, you wouldn’t want to make yourself look bad.
Your chart should look like the following image.
Tips for Making a Competition Slide
Here are some tips for you to consider when making a competition slide.
- Be honest. All your information must be grounded. You should never make up any information to cover the lack of research. If you have nothing to put on the slide, then dig a little deeper.
- Be honest and straightforward. Make the table clean and pristine. You don’t need to stuff a plethora of information in the blocks, numbers can be self-explanatory. A simple sentence can deliver a message as well.
- Revise and update. You probably need to pitch several times before you raise enough money or expertise. Things change quickly in the business industry. Your competitors might launch something new in the meantime. Make sure to make revisions and keep your presentation updated.
Follow the above-mentioned tips to create a stunning pitch deck that helps you win investors’ favour.