Pitch books are a hot topic. They look sharp. They demonstrate a “full steam ahead” attitude. From emailed presentations to handing out flash drives with your brand and contact info printed (with a touch of class) on the side, they move your vision forward at a pace investors appreciate and can get excited about. But what does it take to build one and is a pitch book right for you?
I will answer the second question first. “Is a pitch book the right way to present your growing dream?” The answer depends on where you are in that dream. If you are working and growing as a company and can show real results, the potential for growth and are ready to let other people participate in that growth, then definitely yes. If you are still in concept and development, then you might want to think about it; a bad first impression can hurt the most fantastic idea at this early stage.
As to the second question, “What makes a pitch book the powerhouse I need to sell my startup?” The answer is simple and complicated at once. I will list the prime movers of a presentation as they apply to a pitch book but these are broad strokes. Your brand and product will require intimate knowledge that demands direct communication from you, not just knowledge of marketing strategies. Seek help if you need it. The opening salvo of a marketing campaign is far too important to risk a beginner’s mistake. This is NOT the time to appear amateurish or unprofessional.
- Front Matter: After you, this is the first impression investors are going to get. Make sure your logo is sharp, your motto, if you have one, is not needlessly cheesy, and the whole thing is memorable in a positive way.
- Market input and trends: What are influencers and specialists saying? Include quotes and the names of the people who said them.
- What is at stake?: What is the problem you mean to solve? where is the fire?
- What are you proposing?: How can you make things better? Why is your startup the solution?
- This is the hook: This is where you grab their attention and their pocketbooks and don’t let go.
- How far have you come?: Is your startup actually working? What obstacles have you overcome? Remember real profit comes from hard work. Potential investors will trust you more if they see you’ve done the work, overcome some obstacles and are still moving forward.
- The Model: This is where your business plan makes its mark. Your strategy and tactics go here.
- Who is waiting for you?: Are voices calling for you on social media? Show how many and how loud, or show how you will get their attention.
- Competition and your competitive edge: Who is on the same track, and why are you winning the race? This is one of the biggest hurdles you will face, so take some extra time on this. You need to get it right.
- Talent: Who are the men and women building the castles and saving the day? Make sure they shine like the stars they are.
- Who and where you are: New York, New York or Sydney, Australia, Whether or not you are a long distance call away or just around the corner, people want to know where their money is going.
- Back Matter: A final awesome screen shot or full-screen logo. Something to make sure they remember you and your pitch book.
This, as I said before, is just an outline. you will need to tweak and tailor this to fit your needs with precision, and as I said, this is no time for uncertainty, seek help if you need it. Once you have your pitch book at the ready share it. Pass it around to everyone, including your eccentric uncle and your grandmother. Word of mouth is one of the best messengers to this day, even if the mouth comes in the form of Facebook likes and Google searches.
Pitch books are powerful tools, but like any tool, you must know how to use it. Contact the talent at Birst Group and they can put this powerful weapon in your arsenal.