August 13, 2015 In Insights
Role of Presentations in Start-up Journey
It is easy to dream big, have aspirations. But to live that dream requires a lot of effort. As it has been rightly said by Dr. A.P.J.Abdul Kalam, “Dream is not that you see in sleep, dream is something that does not let you sleep.”
Similarly, the creation of a start-up is all about giving shapes to somebody’s dreams which resides in the mind of an entrepreneur and flourishes. But it becomes a reality only when he works on it. This job cannot be done by one person. When that one person is able to share his thoughts with others and plant the same seed of the dream into their minds, the vision is shared. They all work together towards improvising the idea and starts building on them. This whole process is not a single day job. Sometimes it takes few months and sometimes few years. The basic hurdle for creating a start-up is to stay focused and building on the dream which requires lot of determination. And once all these work out in favour, well we all know the stories about the journey of Google, Apple or Flipkart.
So where is the need for presentation in this whole journey? – one might wonder.
Well the answer is, it is required in each and every step one can think of. Here’s a quick list of the phases that an entrepreneur goes through in the initial phases which cannot be done away with, without proper presentations in today’s world.
Business Idea Deck
The first and foremost need of an entrepreneur is not only having an idea to work on but also to filter and process the idea till it becomes attractive enough. So in the initial days, an entrepreneur is required to prepare a presentation which consists of the important details of his business plan. The idea deck should be attractive enough to bring in more stakeholders which include co-founders, investors, employees and customers. If you are going to make a business idea deck, remember people like to hear stories. So build your presentation such that it tells the story of the journey a successful organization, only then your vision will become a shared dream of many. It is not easy but not impossible either!
Once you have the details of your story, make it more realistic by adding on more data. Investor’s will only give you money once they see potential returns in future. So the next task of an entrepreneur is to build on investor’s pitch deck. Majority of entrepreneurs create using PowerPoint, Prezi or Keynote to give a quick overview. The investor’s pitch must include the following:
Introduction: Prepare a small introduction about your whole idea and introduce your team members and their role.
Area of interest: Tell the investors what problem you are going to solve and how. This point is extremely important. Unless investors see a good amount of value proposition in your plan, they are unlikely to pump in money in your business.
Product: Introduce your product or service. Tell them how your product is having an edge over others (if any) and in case it is a new product how it is going to solve the targeted problem.
Traction and target market: Traction is having a measurable set of customers to show the potential of the product or service being offered. For this you should know the approximate size of your target market in order to prove the future sustainability of the product.
Competition: What are the alternative solutions for the problem mentioned and what is the risk associated with the competition in the market. This makes your business proposal look more realistic once you know the associated risks and have a plan B.
Business model: This is the most important part of the entire presentation. You must have a schedule for your business model showing the required budget for your plan as well as a revenue schedule to give a brief idea of when it will reach the break-even stage.
All this should be included in the presentation that you are preparing to sell your idea.
This might be done before investor’s pitch or after it. A product or service is only successful when it has the customers. So you need to conduct a market research to know your target customer segment to know the demand for your product or service. This will require you to have a test market survey. Once you acquire the data, the interpretation is required. All information about market research should be presented in a precise form.
Next step is to describe your product or service. As mentioned earlier, it should be very clear in the presentation, how your product is going to solve the problem of a consumer. All other necessary details and attributes regarding your product should be included as well.
Sales and Client Deck
Sales deck is inclusive of the selling strategies and unique selling proposition for your product or service to be presented before your prospective clients. There is no standardized sales deck. It has to be customized according to the needs and expectations of customers. The tips here would be: highlight the attributes of your product/service/company but keep it sweet and simple.
In order to successfully market your brand, internal marketing should be done first i.e. train your employees. It is essential to train and motivate your employees enough so that they work towards the success of the organization. Without motivated workforce it is impossible to climb up the ladder in corporate world. In order to conduct effective staff trainings, role of explanatory presentations is vital as people are more visually influenced.
Last but not the least, corporate presentations! Needless to say the importance of this one in the journey of a start-up. The survival of a start-up company depends upon the professionalism and competitiveness which is reflected in their corporate presentations, whether it is for a seminar, client, venture capitalist or another corporate. Corporate presentations are needed throughout the lifecycle of a business.
So in general tips for successful corporate presentation for a start-up would be
To keep a consistent look in the presentation to maintain professionalism
Get a hold of the key metrics before you give your presentation. Without valid data to support your idea, no presentation is going to work
Limit the number of slides. Remember, time is the most precious element in the busy world of corporate
Finally, never go unprepared
A company may cease to be a start-up as it reaches various milestones, but the need for presentation which is born with the idea of the business itself, never ceases to exist.