Mastering the art of creating a compelling startup one-pager is key to unlocking your venture’s future. This is a crucial step in securing financing during the challenging fundraising stage of a business launch.
But it's not easy to create an efficient one-pager that makes you stand out in the competitive capital-seeking space (to say the least).
The basic task of deciding what information to include requires a mentalist-level understanding of what questions need answering in the mind of investors.
After that, you still face the textual acrobatics involved in distilling the information into shot-size portions that say more with less.
Now let me show you how to create an irresistible one-page startup pitch investors love.
A startup one-pager, also called an investor one-pager, is a one-page startup pitch presentation sent to VC or Angel investors with the goal of securing venture capital. An effective startup one-pager explains your unique value proposition (UVP), market opportunity, the innovative solution you offer, and the funding goals in a way that investors can grasp at a glance.
Think of it as the short version of your executive summary. In essence, your startup one-pager provides the key details about your business idea and the investment opportunity.
It answers the burning questions your potential investors need you to answer in order to make an informed decision about whether to grant you a meeting.
TIP: A well-crafted one-pager should also include visual elements such as logos and infographics to break up text and make the information more easily digestible.
An investment one-pager is mission-critical because it offers potential VC firms and angel investors a quick snapshot of what the business stands for and what it seeks to accomplish. It allows you as an entrepreneur to showcase the key points of your venture in order to make your case for winning VC backing.
A startup one-pager captures the (short) attention of potential investors, who are more willing to move forward with investing if they have a clear idea of the potential your business represents laid out before them.
An investment 1-pager is also useful because it provides entrepreneurs with insight into what kind of questions they should expect from potential investors or partners when presenting their venture.
Most investors will approach your one-pager with a set of core questions that they need you to answer so they could evaluate whether or not they’d be willing to trust you with their money.
These questions cover all aspects of your business plan, including your company’s mission and objectives, financial projections, plans for growth, competitive advantages, and market opportunities. Let’s break it down…
This is your hook - your opportunity to inspire further reading, so think carefully and compose something special.
Describing a clear mission statement in a few sentences can help investors quickly understand why your product or service stands out from others. This should also include any unique values or benefits that your product or service offers.
You should define your short-term goals for the next 12 months along with long-term goals for 3-5 years down the road. Investors will also want to know how you plan to achieve these objectives.
You should provide your financial overview in an accepted format (or as requested). The information you present to investors should give them insight into how your business performs financially over time.
What the financial information you provide should include:
It’s all-important that you help investors understand why there is demand for your offer and how you plan to take advantage of those opportunities by growing revenue and profits over time. These aspects should have all been defined during the discovery phase of your new business.
It’s just as important to discuss any competitive advantage that separates your product from similar products offered by competitors.
It would also help your case immensely if you could present any barriers to entry that will prevent big players from using their resources to duplicate your solution and push you out.
By considering these questions when creating your startup one-pager, you can create a detailed yet short document that provides potential investors with all of the necessary information needed to make a sound investment decision.
The best startup one-pagers say more with less.
They use precise language, visuals, and product snapshots to produce a unified narrative that communicates the unique value of your business.
They use storytelling, video, and quotes to entice feelings and build an emotional connection to your company and its offering
Great company one-pager for investors are excellent stories that promise a big idea that will bring about a big shift and bring in big rewards.
A one-pager does not have to be one page - but it does have to be short. Investors are dismissive of prolonged, drawn-out presentations.
It would not surprise me if there were millions of potentially highly successful startups that have failed to take off owing to this one reason alone. Don't make the same mistake.
As an entrepreneur, you are the single most influential factor in the success of your startup. Then it should come as no surprise that VCs will be looking at you just as closely as they look at your company.
Selling your own virtues (modestly and matter-of-factly) should not be neglected while selling those of your company.
One way to go about this is to include a Team slide in your startup one-pager:
Your startup one-pager must demonstrate your team's knowledge of your own business environment – which is something investors look to when considering whether they can trust you with their money.
The unique value proposition (UVP) of a business is the reason why customers (and investors) should choose your company over another. Without nailing this you have no hope of standing out.
A good value proposition should answer the question “what makes your product or service uniquely valuable for audience X” and how your product or service can help your customers achieve a desired outcome.
You can use this UVP formula to draft your own:
I help [audience/niche] to [achieve result/solve problem] by [service/product].
TIP: Your UVP should be short and sweet yet easy to understand. Keep it between 14-30 words. This way you avoid making it so short that it's unintelligible or so long that you lose people's attention.
Examples of famous UVPs
Uber's value proposition:
"Uber is the smartest way to get around. One tap and a car comes directly to you. Your driver knows exactly where to go. And payment is completely cashless."
Slack value proposition:
"Great teamwork starts with a digital HQ. With all your people, tools, and communication in one place, you can work faster and more flexibly than ever before."
Crafting an effective value proposition is vital for any startup looking to reach its target audience and succeed in the competitive marketplace.
As an entrepreneur, it pays off to put thought into creating a compelling value proposition that resonates with clients and potential investors.
In order to demonstrate your solution’s impact, outline the features of your offering and explain how they provide tangible results that customers value.
For example, if you offer financial services such as budgeting tools or investment advice, illustrate how using these services can help people reach their financial goals faster and more effectively than other options available to them.
You should also demonstrate why choosing your product or service will save time and money for customers compared to other alternatives in the market.
TIP: Use real numbers, graphs, and charts to back your claims and gain credibility.
Here's an example of an effective solution slide:
One of the most effective ways to make your content more compelling is through narrative and storytelling.
Stories and narratives can be used to communicate complex messages in a way that’s much easier to understand. Stories allow you to dive deeper into your message and build an emotional connection with your audience.
What to consider when crafting your one-pager narrative:
Writing the accompanying narrative should be done with purposefulness and thoughtfulness. The words should not only provide detail on what’s being shown but also evoke emotion from readers.
TIP: Cutting down on unnecessary words can make each piece succinct yet memorable.
Here's our recommended investor one-pager storyline:
Flow is the art of retaining engagement throughout the content experience (in this case of your one-pager) by seamlessly connecting each defined content section with the next.
Flow is a vastly underrated strategy when compiling one-pagers.
How is flow actually done?
You can listen to it in full here:
Visuals are a killer way to help bring your stories and messages across. Make sure to keep any visual asset you add high-quality with colors that fit well together, which will create a professional look.
Principles for designing good visuals:
Visual aids can come in all sorts of media types:
Here's an example of a well-designed story:
A SaaS product one-pager delivered as an interactive story with immersive visuals, animation, and live data.
Crafting an effective investor one-pager through visual storytelling requires careful consideration of all aspects of design.
When done right, it will set you apart and greatly increase your ability to effectively communicate your ideas and make them resonate with investors.
If you hope to encourage investors to take action you have to provide them with clear next steps. Tell them what they should do to proceed. Guide them to what you want them to do, take the initiative, and don’t leave it to them.
What you can use as next steps in your startup one-pager:
Here's what a startup one-pager with an embedded calendar looks like:
TIP: Include contact information to all forms of acceptable communication (such as email, phone, LinkedIn, Whatsapp, Messenger, and Slack). Make sure your contact information is correct and up-to-date.
An investor one-pager has limited space and should limit the amount of information it delivers to the bare essentials needed to qualify your startup as a potential investment.
But this does not mean that you can’t link out to other supporting materials that investors may choose to look into.
Supporting documents you can link to from your investment one-pager:
Why work hard when you can work smart? Cut the time and effort it takes to create an outstanding presentation by using battle-tested startup one-pager templates.
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