Know Your Numbers - Pitch Deck Perfect Business Optimisation

Whether you’re pitching for investment or running a (division/department) of a business, you need to know your numbers.

The health and viability of every business can be broken down into and brought back to the numbers. This is not something you outsource to your accountant and if you're a smaller business, and the company is big enough to have a CFO, you still need to know and be able to deliver the numbers as required for your area of the business, whether that is just one part of the business or the whole company.

This is not just about the P&L or balance sheet. They are latent metrics. This is also about both live, real time data and trend and demographic data. The number of people I’ve met who don’t know their costs, don’t know their profit margins, don’t know the lifetime value of their clients or the acquisition cost of a client…. it ‘s staggering.

You cannot take educated and informed decisions in business without knowing your numbers. Any decision you make without that knowledge is simply a gamble. You can just as well rock on down to the local casino and roll the dice.

Be Honest And Tell The Real Story - Pitch Deck Perfect Business Optimisation

It seems pretty obvious that if you are going to pitch for investment that you would want to be completely honest. I mean, are people really that stupid that they believe that the lies wont come out in the due diligence process?

Then again, a lot of business owners and business leaders are, to varying degrees, delusional about the actual state of their business. They view everything vis-a-vis the venture through rose tinted glasses, or worse through a refraction crystal that paints all sorts of pretty colour and rays of lights on the canvas they’ve created.

I've been in this game long enough, over 30 years in fact. From that experience I know that people quite often are not intentionally dishonest, they're just not honest and being honest and real with your story is just as important for yourself, as it is for pitching to an investor.

So for yourself, in terms of understanding where your business is, measuring a business's performance, and being able to optimise your business, to be able to either respond to opportunities, or create new opportunities, or respond to those situations which come up, which aren't so favorable towards you you need to have a clear picture of where you are and where you are headed. If you’re pitching for investment the investor will want the same thing.

In this episode I explore some of the ways people lie to themselves and (un)intentionally lie to others, or as a minimum misrepresent what they are presenting when they talk about their business, so that you might identify the traits when you see them.

I’ll come back to this in other episodes as well because the topic is multidimensional and one short video or podcast doesn’t do the entire topic justice. That and I tend to stray from time to time 🙂

An Introduction to Pitch Deck Perfect Business Optimisation

Welcome to the new podcast all about creating pitch deck perfect business optimisation.

Firstly, what is that?

Well, contrary to common belief, a Pitch Deck is not simply a tool for initially presenting a venture to investors. It’s also a tool that can give you a very high resolution helicopter view of where your business is, and a tool with which to measure and manage performance.

It’s both these aspects of a Pitch Deck that this podcast series focuses on. So if you simply are looking for information on how to put together a compelling Pitch Deck that profiles your business in a way that will be attractive to private equity investors, stick around because we’ll cover that. If however you are interested in finding a way to be able to level up, grow and expand your business, then definitely hang around because it is people like you who will get the most out of this.

Why would I say that? Will people seeking to pitch their business for investment not get a lot out of this?

No. I’m not saying that.

What I do know however from over 30 years of experience is this. If you are solely focused on creating a document to send off to investors you’ll probably miss the majority of the value, because you will most likely not see where the business needs improvement. You’re too busy with the window dressing making it look good on paper.

I’ve read a lot of Pitch Decks in my career and have been pitched to almost as much (there were some that were just pure trash to start with). Invariably what happens when you focus on making the business look good on paper, under scrutiny it becomes pretty obvious that what you have is actually soiled toilet paper.

I trust you will enjoy this series. The videos (podcasts) are not in a specific order so jump around based on what you feel may benefit you the most.