Before we dive into using forecasting for your financial pitch deck slides, let’s go over the basics. A pitch deck (or slide deck, etc) is a presentation that provides an overview of your business. It covers key points in the business plan, the products and services on offer, high-level financials, and funding requirements. While it should stand alone as a visual document, it will typically be used in conjunction with a verbal presentation to tell the story of a business.
While every business, and every ask, is different, the goal of a pitch deck will primarily be to raise money for the company. This means that any investor with a genuine interest in the business will want to see detailed financial projections and the underlying assumptions driving these forecasts. Often, investors will want a detailed sales forecast, profit and loss forecast, cash flow forecast, and balance sheet statement. While typically the more detailed documents will be added as annexures to the pitch deck, there is key information that investors want to see on the financial slides.
Let’s talk about forecasting for financial pitch deck slides
- What to put in the financial slides of a pitch deck?
- 5 Mistakes when using forecasting for financial pitch deck slides
- How to present your financial pitch deck slides
What to put in the financial slides of a pitch deck?
Generally, financial projections should be made for 3-5 years in the future. While 3 is the most popular recommendation, generally companies make use of anything up to 5 years. Even though projections and forecasts are not able to be completely accurate, the aim is to be data-based and as realistic as possible. Remember that you can provide more detail at a later stage or in the annexures, so try to think of this as a high-level overview.
If you are unsure of what to include, below is a general guideline that you can use based on your needs:
- One or two KPIs
- Income Statement / P&L
- Cash Position
One or two KPIs
These could include, but are not limited to:
- Number of sales per period
- Total paid subscribers
- Amount of active users
- Annual recurring revenue
- Monthly recurring revenue
Income Statement / P&L
Generally, here investors will see revenue growth vs expense and headcount increase, etc. You may be want to include:
- COGS (Cost of Goods Sold)
- Operating expenses (OpEx)
In the cash section, you may think to include:
- Investment and financing (raised capital or loans)
- Cash position at the end of a particular period
Optional items to include in the financial pitch deck slides
- Multiple revenue streams
- Customer lifetime value
- Capital expenditures (CapEx)
Depending on what you choose to include in these slides, you may need to be creative as to how you present the information. Take a look at our free Investor Pitch Deck Template for a basic layout you can use for your slide deck.
5 Mistakes when using forecasting for financial pitch deck slides
While nobody gets things right 100% of the time, we can certainly learn from the common mistakes others have made over the years. Here are a few common mistakes that you can avoid making when using forecasting for your financial pitch deck slides.
1. Thinking that expenses don’t grow with revenue
Accountants use “Matching” to tie COGS to revenue directly on the Income Statement. While the Income Statement lies about cash (you should include an area for cash on your projections), you will need to be aware of what will increase as your revenue does (like OpEx).
2. Assuming that headcount doesn’t grow with revenue
While we all like to think we can wear unlimited hats, the truth is that you will most likely need to hire more people as your business grows. If this ratio is out, investors may not view your plan as realistic.
3. Basing revenue per employee
Basing revenue per employee is unrealistic and may set alarm bells off in a meeting with investors.
4. Using COGS that are out of line for that industry
Investors are aware of the general margins for COGS in specific industries and will quickly pick up if you are outside of the normal spectrum.
5. Requesting to raise too much money
When requesting funding, remember to consider the pre-money evaluation vs the investment return ratio. It is easier to buy a company for a lower amount than if it’s overvalued.
How to present your financial pitch deck slides
While your layout and presentation will be based on your aesthetic choices and the type of information you provide in your financial slides, Brixx can help you improve your forecasts and projections and provide you with a free general Investor Pitch Deck Template to get you started. In general, we encourage you to present your financial projections in a way that displays that you have accounted for a high-revenue, low-revenue, and worst-case projection while not overwhelming investors with information straight off the bat.
In order to effectively communicate key financial insights, you may want to consider a specialised tool to create your forecasts. See how you can use Brixx to present Financial Projections for Business Plans by signing up for a free 7-day trial.