10 Slides to Funding Success
The Financials Slide
Part 8 of 10
Startup Capital: 10 Slides to Funding Success – The Financials Slide
One of my responsibilities as an Executive Coach is helping company founders with the creation of their Investor Pitch Deck. Throughout my career, I have created and helped create many Investor Pitch Decks. Some of our team’s Investor Pitch decks, especially early in my startup career, upon reflection, were “horrible”. Sometimes our teams were successful in raising monies from investors. Many times they were not. I never thought that the content and presentation style of the investor pitch deck might be hurting us. Boy, was I ever wrong! By working with many investors, I’ve learned what they want in an Investor Pitch Deck. In my last company, we raised $87M over rounds A, B and C. Today I will discuss “Startup Capital: 10 Slides to Funding Success – The Financials Slide – Part 8 of 10”.
When an Entrepreneur is putting together their Investor Pitch Deck, they usually assemble a hoard of information. Sadly, often what they assemble is a “book” that is 20, 30, even as much as 80 pages in length! Most of us humans have a very short attention span. Even ad networks know that most ads longer than 30 seconds in length don’t work with consumers. For Investors, the successful length of an Investor Pitch Deck is about ten pages and 7-15 minutes in presentation length.
This 10-part series covers the ideal content, order, and verbiage of the ten Investor Pitch Deck pages. You’ll have learned how to craft your story into a successful ten-page Investor Pitch Deck that can get you funded!
Financials Slide – Why Important?
Last week in Part 7 of “Startup Capital: 10 Slides to Funding Success“, I spoke about the Monetization slide and its importance. This week I’m speaking to the Financials Slide, the eighth page of every presentation and its importance. After having discussed the Monetization slide, you should immediately launch into describing your corporate “Financials”.
Why? Your investor is all excited about how much margin you are making, your Customer base, your Solution. Now they’re primed to see the details of your cash flow and your financial forecasts.
If you’ve followed this series, and your investor’s in your Market space, they’ll be on the edge of their seats!
Financials Slide – Content
Most Financial slides I see from entrepreneurs are a mess! Most entrepreneurs are not financial experts. They are not book keepers or Certified Public Accountants (CPA’s). This is one slide you should seek a financial expert to help you on. Herein I will show you examples of format and content, but you need experts with “the numbers”.
Your Financial Slide should convey to the investor that you understand the financial basics of running your business. Your Financials slide will contain key numbers from your Balance Sheet, Profit & Loss Statement, and Cash Flow Statement. You must be very familiar with what these statements and the numbers that go into them. Take a course or two on Udemy.com, Linda.com., or a similar and learn the fundamentals of finance. Knowing the basics is a must if you are going to be the leader of your business.
Most investors want to see financial numbers from inception to date, followed by a forecast for the next 24 months. Break the numbers down by calendar or fiscal quarter. The rows will contain key numbers from your Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss Statement, and Cash Flow Statement. Your accountant will help you set up the key numbers for the row content.
See the image associated with this article to see an example of what your page might look like.
Financials Slide – What’s Your Story?
So, what do you say while your Financial Slide is visible? Remember, you have 45-60 seconds. Numbers for most tend to be boring. They will typically be dug into in detail on a “Second Date”, so stay in shallow water now.
Investors really only want to know a few financial numbers on a “First Date”. One, how fast is your Revenue and Customer base growing? Two, how fast are your Expenses and Headcount growing? Three, what’s the date when you are profitable? Address these three and leave the others for post presentation Q&A. Allow me to share one pitch example.
“Our financials show we are currently doubling our Revenue and Customer base every quarter and expect that to continue. With this next investment in our company, we can continue this growth over the next 12 months. Our Expenses are leveling even as we grow the top line. We expect to have our first month of profitability in November of this year.”. Wow! You’ve painted a great financial story and addressed the key financial points in under a minute. Well done!
Presentation: We Can Read or Listen – Not Both!
Most of us humans can either “Read” or “Listen”, but cannot do both at the same time. Your Pitch Deck slide presentation exists to support “the story” you are going to be telling your audience. Does your Investor Pitch Deck has a lot of words, charts with numbers, or distracting images? Then your audience is going to switch their brain into “reading mode” and out of “listening mode”. As soon as that happens, you’ve lost your audience and will struggle to get them back to listening to YOU! To avoid this, use mostly images and as few words as possible, usually in bullet form. So absolutely, positively NO SENTENCES!
So, I suspect many of you were surprised with respect to the importance of the Financials Slide. If you’re starting you create your first investor presentation, congratulations! You’re going to be starting off on the right foot if you follow my recommendations above. Go back and look at your Financials slide and apply what you’ve learned above. If possible, you should wait to read the remainder of the series before you present again. I can almost promise you a better reaction from your audience.
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If you subscribe to my FREE Business Coaching Newsletter, I’ll also offer you a discount coupon to my book “Startup Capital: 10 Slides to Funding Success”. In the book, I do a more detailed dive into each of the ten slides. You’ll see both good and poor examples of each of the ten topic slides. I’ll also discuss good and poor examples of presentation techniques. You’ll learn how to identify “Lookie-Lou” investors from “serious investors” who will really write you a check. I’ll teach techniques for how to overcome nervousness, stuttering and “brain-freeze” during your presentation. You’ll learn appropriate attire and why showing up even a minute late can doom a presentation.
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Next time …
In the next blog post, I will write about “Startup Capital: 10 Slides to Funding Success! The Team Slide – Part 9 of 10”.
Read a Previous Post: “Startup Capital: 10 Slides to Funding Success! The Monetization Slide – Part 7 of 10“
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