As a SaaS strategy consultant I get asked a lot of questions about building investment decks. Now there is a wealth of information online advising on this, from great (and bad) templates to use, to examples of successful decks used in the past, to detailed articles from VC's stating what they specifically want to see.
These resources are great. However where I often see people stumble is how they take all of that information and actually create a winning investment deck from it. It's hard. But I have found that one little piece of advice here goes a long way:
"Treat your Investment Deck like it's the CV for your business, and you're applying for your dream job."
So go all out, this is your chance, don't half-arse it. And remember the basic rules that we naturally follow for CV building are the same as for your investment deck:
Be Clear and Structured - have an outline and structure to your deck. Templates and prior example decks are great to help establish a strong structure. Make sure you maintain this structure throughout.
Be Concise - Keep it to the point. Don't waffle. Don't fluff things out. Remember your potential investor is like you - short on time. So always keep that front of mind.
Be Relevant - When you're unsure which nugget of information will be the key to winning over your investor, it's tempting to include everything. However irrelevant information is a distraction, and a waste of valuable space. Every inch counts in an investment deck, so ensure the content is relevant.
Have Personality - Investors never just look at the business, investment is about people. This is your chance to show them who you are, and the personality of your startup. Whether it's using particular vocabulary, or imagery, or thinking outside the box with some of your content, let that personality shine through.
Stand Out - If you've ever had to rifle through a large pile of CV's and try and shortlist, the ones that make the extra effort to standout do pay off. They catch your eye. So be eye catching. You have a brand, use it! Templates are great to give you structure, but from that point on the Investment Deck needs to live and breathe your brand. Be memorable.
Be Correct - And lastly, but very importantly, be correct. Be accurate. Include references if your are including public statistics, make sure your spelling is spot on. There is nothing more embarrassing than a potential investor pointing out a spelling mistake.
It's that simple really, focus on what is important, don't waffle, and make sure your Investment Deck really represents who your startup is. This is applicable regardless of if this is your first seed funding round, or your VC funding round, to even an IPO. Make it count.
Amy Walker - Specialist in SaaS Strategy & Business Execution
I work with SaaS companies to develop their key strategies, and assist them to get the right tools in place to be able to execute seamlessly in market. I believe that the only thing preventing a great idea from scaling globally is a clear strategy supported by strong execution.