There’s plenty of information about writing business plans for investors, but what about the actual presentation? Like any job, there are details that must get attention or the big picture falls apart. During a business plan presentation, the audience is going to be considering the details of the presentation as well as the details of the plan itself.
Presentation details include things like the format, the length, the graphs and charts selected, the flow of the information presented, and the efficiency of the presentation itself. Giving investors a good impression of your organizational and presentational skills enhances the information in the business plan. Rambling or disorganized presentations can detract from the information being conveyed.
So what are these small details? The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) business school recommends that the business plan presentation should only be approximately 30 minutes long. That may surprise some people, but we live in a society where people expect information to be conveyed quickly. Another recommendation is to keep the information on each page, slide or Powerpoint chart easy to read which means not putting too much information on it. A single page of presentation should have a maximum of 6 bullet points.
The flow of the presentation is important also. It should begin with a very brief overview of the company with a focus on why the services or products are problem solving and thus compelling. The overview is followed by a definition of the market need, the solution your products or services offer, the specific benefits conveyed to the market through your products or services and a description of the market and customers. You will also need to describe your competitive advantage. In a few presentation pages, the marketing plan and financial projections are presented.
A mistake many entrepreneurs make is developing a presentation that is too long and tedious. Investors are savvy and will ask the questions they need to know right then. However, investors and their accounting and legal advisors will study the written plan closely at a later date before making a decision. During the presentation, your goal is to get the interest of the investors to the point where they want to know more. It’s not to stuff as much information as possible into an hour.
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