4. Timeline: milestones & momentum
[Throughout this series of articles to explain how to build an investors deck we are using the example of Pant Station, an imaginary company that sells panties for men, to illustrate the different parts. If you want to read this series of article, I advise you to start with this one.]
Even if you are an early stage startup you have been building your story for a while and thought about where you want to be in the future. You have most likely been through different stages and your vision for the future has changed. That’s what you want investors to see and understand.
Show your milestones 📅
The key is to pick the milestones you want to show carefully. You want to give investors what they are looking for: the best strategy is to make sure you have it all under control. Be careful not to seem like you are stuck from lack of cash at a critical moment.
What investors want is to de-risk their investments, therefore they need to be confident that your company is on track with its milestones. If one of the important milestones has not been reached yet it might scare them and make them want to hold out on investing. However if you’ve shown you’ve been consistent and careful in all your other milestones they might get the confidence they need to invest early on.👌
The biggest milestones which should appear on your timeline are Product, Market, Human Resources and Funding from the day create you started your company until you have achieved your goals set up for this fundraising round.
You might have been working on your company for a few years and only decided to raise money now and that’s ok but you need to make sure investors understand why. Maybe you’ve been experimenting with your business model or with your product itself to make sure you find your market fit.
Now obviously all investors will want to invest in a “hot” company🔥. Convincing them you are part of a significant new trend in the marketplace can save you a lot of time and energy. Your investors need to feel that FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). Make them feel like they need to invest more than you need the money (but stay humble, always).
Tell the story of your product
Investors need to see numbers to understand how far you’ve come. Make sure you include the evolution of basic numbers such as number of customers and number of employees. If you plan on making improvement to your product you should show how it affects your company in terms of organization and what you expect of such improvements.
Your timeline is now ready to roll and impress investors! 😮