How to show your competitor landscape in a pitch deck?

Intelligently displaying your startup’s competitor landscape is a critical part of a successful pitch deck and fundraising campaign. So, what is the best way to show your competition, how you compare, and leverage them into a better business of your own?

The Importance Of Competition In Your Pitch Deck

Knowing yourself in life and business is very important, but so is knowing and differentiating your competition.

Your pitch deck is an important document for you, your internal team, hires, and consultants. It is often the clearest and most usable document for the direction of your company and business planning. Getting the competitive landscape right here can be pivotal for everything you do.

In startup fundraising, the competition can play a much bigger role than most entrepreneurs can understand. Many go out of their way to deny and downplay competition. That is not the right strategy. It will hurt your credibility and close doors.

Instead, look at the competitive landscape in your pitch deck as a tool for strategically maximizing urgency, appeal, and value. In many cases, this slide is one of the biggest tests investors will put you through.

Here’s how to nail it. And, How to show your competitor landscape in your pitch deck?

Who Is Your Competition?

The number one mistake most entrepreneurs make in both starting a business and crafting their pitch decks is overlooking the competition.

If you haven’t done your homework on fundraising and your space, and have completed your market research, then the odds of failure are overwhelming. It’s just a matter of how much time and money is going to be wasted before going back to start from scratch again.

The second mistake in this respect is denying or believing you don’t have competition. The third is trying to hide or dismiss that competition.

If you don’t find any active competition in the marketplace now, then a great starting point for any business is to go back and look at previous startup and business attempts in this space. Who else has tried it? Why did they give up? What wasn’t working? What did they discover that you may be overlooking? Talk to the founders if you can. They may be more generous at sharing than you expect. Finding out this information can go a long way to help you de-risk your venture and avoid the same pitfalls.

Having identified companies marketing similar products, you would also want to learn how to define your competitive advantage in the pitch deck. Take a look at this video where I explain in detail how to do that.

Also, Identify Future Competitor Landscape in Your Pitch Deck

Then consider future competitors. If you do start making progress, get funded, and clock some traction, you can be others who want to get in on that money train. Perhaps some are already quietly working on something similar in the lab. Who are they? It could be other brand new startups.

Scrappy, fast-moving, bootstrapped ventures that may be willing to undercut you and over-promise to scoop your market share. Or it will be very big companies who want what you have, and can afford to price you out, sue you out, buy you out, or just out-market you.

The other type of competition may be foreign competition in another market or region, who may want to move into your area.

If there are current competitors in this space start building a list and database of them. Who are they? What are they doing well? What are they doing poorly? And, what are they planning? How are they different? How can you outperform them? Include this information when figuring out how to show your competitor landscape in your pitch deck?

Keep in mind that in fundraising storytelling is everything. In this regard for a winning pitch deck to help you here, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.

Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.

How To Use Your Competitors To Your Advantage In A Pitch Deck

Competition can be a huge advantage when fundraising. Use them to frame and position your business, your investment opportunity, and get investors to take action.

These are three of the top benefits of competition in your deck:

Validation Of Your Startup Idea

Contrary to the popular misconception, having a completely new and unique idea isn’t always best. In fact, if you are ahead of your time or it just doesn’t have any other foundation, that can be a big disadvantage.

Having competitors means that other people believe in this idea too. Maybe they have already proven the problem and demand a solution. Or there may be big and smart companies and investors working on this, validating this is a worthy investment.

Funding Amounts

Competition is great for benchmarking funding asks. For example, you are claiming you are better and have an advantage over a competitor in this space, but they just raised a $9M Seed round from some respectable investors. Well then, shouldn’t your company be worth more? Shouldn’t you be able to justify at least a $10M or larger seed round?

Exit Strategy & Potential

If larger companies are entering or investing in this space, then that could be a sign there is a good M&A exit on the horizon. It may just be cheaper for them to acquire you. Or for a competitor to roll you up for an even larger public or private exit.

Your Competitive Advantage

Competition is fine, as long as you are clear about your competitive advantage. What is it that you do better? What is the one thing you can keep excelling at over the rest of the pack?

Use your SWOT analysis for clarity on this, and for developing a very strong USP.

The Competitor Landscape Slide

In a pitch deck, the competitor landscape is typically best shown in an image or graph, with your company up and to the right.

Choose your points of reference to plot out how you stand out from your top four or five most serious competitors.

These factors also come into play as you show alignment with this slide through your solution, product, marketing, and competitive advantage slide, and even team slide.

Keep Updating the Competition Overview in a Pitch Deck

Your #1 focus should be on your own business and customers, but keep your eye on your competition, keep updating this slide as you go through your rounds, and plan your next milestones. And, when putting together a fundraising strategy, work out how to show your competitor landscape in your pitch deck?

You may find interesting as well our free library of business templates. There you will find every single template you will need when building and scaling your business completely for free. See it here.

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