You’ve only got one shot to pitch to investors and wow them with your deck.
Is your’s up to the job?
If not, how long is it going to take to craft an effective one so that you can start pitching to investors?
Timing Is Critical
As shared with members on Inner Tribe, where we help startups from A to Z with everything related to fundraising, timing is critical for startups.
That’s even more true when it comes to product launches and fundraising campaigns.
You need to have a great handle on the time it will take to create your pitch deck and other fundraising campaign materials in order to survive and get funded.
You need to know your timeline so that you can begin leading up to your pitch and pre-marketing any campaigns, and dripping the hype and PR to prime investors for them.
Some may have to buckle up to prepare for a challenging year of fundraising campaigning, even after they have a great deck in hand. Others may be under the gun to get money in ASAP and hit the ground running before they run out of time and money to work on this startup.
So, how long should you plan for it to take to create a great pitch deck?
What are some of the hacks to get it done faster?
What are some of the gotchas that could take a lot longer than you expect?
How Long It Takes To Make A Pitch Deck
How long can it possibly take to throw together a handful or a dozen slides?
The quick answer is that it can take as little as a few hours to well over a month.
A pitch deck pro armed with all the relevant data can probably whip up a powerful deck in less than a day of work. Though in most cases, from scratch to polish, startup entrepreneurs should plan weeks to complete a fundable deck they are willing to bet their business idea on.
2 Hacks For Creating A Pitch Deck Faster
Use A Proven Template
Save reinventing the wheel and disruption for your product. Being too creative with your deck is just going to confuse investors and be a roadblock to successful funding. Don’t take the scenic route to create a slide presentation from scratch either. There is too much else you need to do, and time is of the essence. Use a proven existing pitch deck template, and customize it with your data and style.
Hire A Pitch Deck Pro
You could spend months just learning about what to put in your deck, the slides to include, current trends on what is getting funded and what investors want to see, as well as formats. You can’t afford that. Bring in someone specifically to work on your deck. Someone who does this type of work for a living and can create a perfect sales plan template. They can do it in a fraction of the time it will take you. No matter what they charge by the hour, it will be less than you will spend of your own time trying to figure it all out.
Steps To Creating A Winning Pitch Deck
Recruiting & Hiring Help
Use freelance experts to help complete a winning deck fast.
- Image/video editors
- Strategists and fundraising experts
This process can take anywhere from 1 day to 3 weeks depending on how you do it. Hopefully, you already have some good fundraising advisors you can reach out to. Then use platforms like UpWork to reach out to top talent in this space and hire fast.
Build Your Target List Of Investors
Look up and create a shortlist of potential investors that you will tailor this pitch deck towards. Knowing the type of investor and the theme of what they are investing in will make a lot of difference in pitching well.
If you are behind the game on this, you may need 1-2 weeks to really identify, filter, and create a tight list.
Like most of the other tasks on this list, it’s not that you’ll be spending 80-100 hours a week on this one step, but you have so much else to do. If you get in a few hours today and then finish next week, you are already 2 weeks in. Especially if you are working with assistants who may be in different time zones, and you are lagging a day between messages each way.
Figuring out the time it will take you to develop the pitch is essential since it is only the first step in the fundraising campaign.
Allow up to another 2 weeks for some serious research and compiling all the data you need to fill in your pitch deck.
- Market size
- Market trends and direction
- Verifying the problem
- Marketing strategies
- Costs and profit margins
Images & Editing
Between creating a logo, product screenshots, modelling prototypes, or images of use cases for your product and editing team headshots allow another 2-4 weeks.
Developing The Copy
The words you use in your pitch deck will make all the difference. Each word can add or lose another million in your raise.
A great copywriter who knows how to tell the right story, and can boil it down to one-liners and bullet points can be an invaluable asset.
They might be able to craft all the text you need in just one day, but the best writers will already be booked up for 2-4 weeks in advance.
Reviewing & Tweaking Your Pitch Deck
Once you have it altogether, test the feedback from advisors and others you trust. Allow another 1-2 weeks to compile this feedback and make adjustments before it is polished and ready to use live.
Please let me know in the comment box below where you struggle with to get to the next level with building your Pitch deck.
Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts.
Your biggest fan,
Jeroen van der Heide Co-founder & Ecopreneur
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