6. Technology-As a business coach, I recommend to describe the technology behind your solution. Focus on how the technology enables the differentiated aspects of your solution. If appropriate, mention patent status.
7. Marketing. Who are the customers? How big is the market? You summarized this in your Problem slide and this is your opportunity to elaborate. How are you going to acquire customers? What customers have you already acquired?
8. Sales. What’s your business model? If you have sales, discuss the sales you’ve made and your pipeline. What are the microeconomics and macroeconomics that turn your business into a $X million revenue business? Emphasize the microeconomics (each user is worth $1/year because…) instead of the macroeconomics (if we can get 1% of a $10B market…).
9. Competition. Describe why customers use your product instead of the competition’s. Describe any competitive advantages that remain after the competition decides to copy you exactly. Never deny that you have competitors — it’s okay to compete. Against anyone.
10. Milestones. Describe your current status and prospective milestones for the next 1-3 quarters for your product, team, marketing, and sales. Use a table with the quarters on the x-axis and the functions on the y-axis. Also include quarterly and cumulative gross burn (your expenses, assuming zero revenue) for the next 1-3 quarters. Don’t build a detailed financial model if you don’t have past earnings, a significant financial history, or insight into the issue. What hypotheses did you test in the last round of financing and what were the results? What hypotheses will you test with this round?
11. Conclusion. This slide can be inspirational, a larger vision of what the company could accomplish if these current plans are realized, or a rehash of the Summary slide.
12. Financing. Dates, amounts, and sources of money raised. How much money are you raising in this round? Restate the hypotheses that you will test in this round.
To download a best-practice template of what a fully-completed pitch deck looks like, visit: www.Thrive15.com/pitch-deck-template
To watch a powerful training video from the business coach about how to create the best pitch deck to raise venture capital, watch: www.Thrive15.com/how-to-create-the-best-pitch-deck-to-raise-venture-capital
One more word about bringing on investors. My decision to bring on Doctor Robert Zoellner as the lead investor and CEO of Thrive15.com has been the best decision of my life, outside of my decision to marry my wife Vanessa (15 years ago). Z has been the best influence and mentor in my life that I could ever have had and has been a father figure to me in many ways. He knows his stuff as a business coach and he truly understands the needs of the average small business owner. He is the best. However, during the process of raising money to fund Thrive15.com, I was approached by many investors who would have been an absolute disaster to bring on. Their worldviews are not consistent with mine and their overall mindset would have been poisonous to the Thrive15.com culture.
When you bring on an investor, you want to make sure that the money you are infusing into your business is worth the equity and the influence that you are giving up. Make sure that you have adequately researched your investors so that you are not bringing on Satan as the new member of your team. Years ago before I was a business coach and when I was a young grasshopper business owner, I made the mistake of bringing on an investor with a high net worth and very low character score. I did not know that this was the case until he attempted to have sex with one of my employee’s fiancé and shared nude photos of his wife with our sales team. When I first met him, he seemed nice and he had all of the positive and scripture-based Hobby Lobby décor one could buy adorning his home. However, there were subtle warning signs that I turned a blind eye to because I was so focused on achieving our goal and I wanted to believe that he was a good guy.
30.1 – Protect Your Business from the Predictable Fraud and Theft
My belief in the inherent goodness of the human race is very low, not because I am a pessimist, but because I see patterns (essentially, I am not blind). Having been self-employed in some capacity since the age of 15, I have seen the truly horrible and the truly great aspects of the human race time and time again.
The Highlights I Have Witnessed from the Human Race Since Being a Business Owner:
• I have literally seen multiple employees start walking to work two hours before start of business because they didn’t want to be late for work and their car would not start.
• I have witnessed first-hand an employee (who was not wealthy) ask if he could transfer 100% of his check to another employee to help him pay his medical bills.
• I have witnessed first-hand an employee go without sleep for nearly 48 hours straight to fill in for another employee whose wife was having a baby.
• I have witnessed an employee read their entire one-year’s required reading list within their first month of employment so that they would “set themselves up for success.”
The Lowlights I Have Witnessed from the Human Race Since Being a Business Owner:
• I have witnessed an employee methodically use my business credit card to pay to fill up 25% of his boat gas tank each week.
• I was informed by a groom that one of my employees propositioned a bride-to-be for sex literally three hours before her wedding.
• I have watched video tape (with audio) of an employee explaining how they would attempt to fake an injury by falling in front of our business.
• I dealt with an employee who decided to check into a hotel – UNDER MY NAME – with unlicensed semi-automatic firearms that were discovered during the check-in process.
30.2 – Install This Proven 20-Point System to Guard Yourself Against Employee Fraud and Theft
In my experience as a business coach and consulting with both small and large businesses, I have developed five proven ways to help guard your business from predictable theft and fraud. Unfortunately, small and medium-sized businesses get attacked by con artists and criminally minded employees all of the time. If you own a business and you are not being proactive about protecting that business from predictable fraud and theft, you are going to lose your shirt; it is just a matter of time.
75 percent of the 2,600 surveyed employees admitted to stealing pens and pencils, while 38 percent said they stole company stationery.
Fraud and Theft Guard #1: Fire people who are dishonest in the little things.
Years ago when I was a young grasshopper entrepreneur, I didn’t have a pattern of theft and fraud from which to draw my wisdom. However, now that I have personally consulted with companies from over one hundred industries, I can tell you that you must absolutely fire people who are dishonest in the little things. Employees who lie about their time card and who lie about what time they came into work will lie about everything and you need to fire them before they rob you blind. The criminal mind doesn’t just show up to work one day. The employees who will rob you blind start off stealing your money by lying about their hours and by not fully completing their checklists. Then they take your money. When you fire an employee for ethical violations, I highly recommend that you make an example of them so that everybody within your organization knows that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated in any way shape or form.
“Public hangings are teaching moments. Every company has to do it. A teaching moment is worth a thousand CEO speeches. CEOs can talk and blab each day about culture, but the employees all know who the jerks are. They could name the jerks for you. It’s just cultural. People just don’t want to do it.”
(Former CEO of GE who grew the company by 4000%)