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Starting A Company? Forget A Business Plan, Do This Instead.

A business plan is important to have when starting a business but South African start-ups focus on them too much.

If you going to raise money, especially from the private sector. A business plan should come second and this first.

A Pitch Deck, and if you don’t know what that is, in short

a pitch deck is a pitch presentation for entrepreneurs or businesses to provide a streamlined but informative overview of their company or startup to potential investors, such as venture capitalists or angel investors.


Instead of supplying investors who are bombarded by investment opportunities with an 80-page business plan, put together an 8 to 12-page pitch deck presentation.

This often uses shot bullet points and graphics to tell the story of the start-up.

It also summarizes your business plan and lets investors get an overview of your company in a quick concise way.

It also helps get you in the door and open up the opportunity to further present, have meetings with investors, and more.

Pitch Deck Format

Every pitch deck has a different format but there are some common slides that are always great to consider in your deck.

  1. Introduction – Short intro about your start-up, and what makes it different. (Good example: Start-Up is a SaaS company that does A & B and will render X & Y obsolete.
  2. Problem – What problem is your start-up trying to solve.
  3. Solution – What is your start-ups solution to this problem.
  4. Product or Service – What is your company’s product or service. Explain broadly the product or service that is the solution to the current problem.
  5. Timing – “Why Now?” why is now the perfect time for your product/service
  6. Target Market – Who is facing this problem and who are the intend people for your solution.
  7. Traction – Your Company’s growth in users, revenue, waiting list, pre-orders etc…
  8. Competition – Who are your competitors in the space.
  9. Business Model – How is your company going to make money, are you consumer or business phasing.
  10. Team – Company’s management and founders. What is their experience and expertise etc…
  11. Marketing & Sales Strategy – How will you market and sell your product/service. This is important in showing understanding of your market.
  12. Financials – This could be a small graph for the projected sales of the start-up, runway and more.
  13. Use of Funds – How much are you raising, at what equity and how will it be spent.
  14. Team Motivation – This is often optional but can be used to outline what drives the founder and why she/he decided to start the company and more.

I hope this will help a lot of start-up founders. A start-up pitch deck is not a replacement for a business plan but it’s vitally important to have when raising capital.

I also start with a deck first when I have an idea, it’s short and helps me outline the company I’m starting and then I build a business plan from there while updating my deck as I go along.

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