Pitch Deck VS. Business Plan: What is the Difference

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Pitch Deck vs Business Plan
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Writing a business plan?

Pitch deck or a business plan—confused about which of these business documents you should create for your business?

Well, the short answer is both.

But, in a thriving startup world, where time’s a chase, knowing what will help you to make the most significant impact will make the choice easier.

Through this blog post, let’s help you understand the key differences between these two documents, i.e. pitch deck vs business plan, and instances when you will need them.

Ready to get started? Let’s dive right in.

Pitch decks are important for a quick business introduction. But let’s now gather a basic overview of what a business plan is.

Now, that you have gathered a fair understanding of pitch decks and business plans, let’s understand what makes them different.

Difference between a pitch deck and a business plan

Pitch decks are crisp offering a macro overview of your business idea through sharp and remarkable visuals. Business plans, on the other hand, are immaculately detailed, offering a micro overview of what your business does and where it aims to reach.

Well, the differences between a business plan and a pitch deck are fundamental and we will now explore those differences in detail.

1. Purpose

Pitch decks serve the purpose of familiarizing the audience with your business idea in a short time. They capture the audience’s attention, spark excitement about a business idea, and help you secure further discussions and meetings with potential investors.

Business plans, on the other hand, offer an in-depth detailing of your business framework, financial projections, and strategic objectives. They are required by banks to grant loans, investors to evaluate the business’s viability, and internally to guide the management and operations.

2. Length and Format

A slide deck is precise and concise. It summarizes your entire business idea within 10-15 slides, and sometimes even less.

These business documents are heavier on visual components. Instead of paragraphs, the important information is usually conveyed through crisp statements and bullet points.

Business plans, however, are extremely detailed and lengthy. While the length of a typical traditional plan varies between 20-100 pages, a startup business plan in a lean format can be as small as 1-2 pages.

These professional documents are heavier on text and include tables and charts to support the textual content. The design is kept minimal and professional and the information is organized neatly into digestible sections.

3. Content

A pitch deck includes high-value information summarizing only the key aspects of your business plan. They focus more on the problem and the solution, revenue model, traction, competitive advantage, and key financial metrics of your business.

Such presentations also include your funding demand and are pretty straightforward in terms of content.

Business plans, however, provide extensive information detailing your business idea, strategies, resources, financials, and even the assumptions and justifications.

Generally, a comprehensive business plan includes an executive summary followed by a detailed description of the business, market analysis, products and services, marketing and sales strategies, operations, management, and financials.

However, one can adjust the contents and details of a business plan depending on their objective to write a business plan.

4. Audience

Pitch decks are essentially prepared to pitch to investors and venture capital firms for equity funding. However, that’s not it.

The very purpose of a business pitch deck is to educate the people about your business idea and stir their interest. So anyone who wants to acquaint themselves with the core fundamentals of your business in a short time is an ideal audience for a pitch deck.

Similarly, a business plan is also intended for a vast audience, including but not limited to, loan officers, investors, stakeholders, and the company’s internal team.

In fact, anyone who wants to have a deep, thorough insight into your business’s strategies, policies, operations, and finances can benefit from reading your business plan.

And those are the most fundamental differences between a pitch deck presentation and a business plan. However, let’s now understand different instances when you will require these business documents.

When to use a Pitch Deck?

A pitch deck offers a snapshot of your business and is most suitable for situations, events, and audiences that prefer to gather a level of information within a short span.

Here are a few instances where you would definitely require a business pitch deck:

  • When you want to introduce your startup idea at investor meet-ups, networking events, and accelerator programs.
  • When you want to get initial equity funding from investors and VC firms.
  • When you want to secure an in-person meeting with an investor.

However, for all this to happen, you need a pitch deck that brilliantly captures the key essence of your business.

Well, it’s not that easy. From design to content—it takes a lot to create a 10-page, compelling pitch deck.

You must have figured out that creating a pitch deck is challenging given the crispness, conciseness, and briefness it requires.

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When to use a Business Plan?

A well-mapped business plan is an asset that will take your business to quite a few places helping you realize your business goals. If you are wondering where will you require a business plan, here you go:

  • When you want significant funding from potential investors.
  • When you want to validate your business idea.
  • When you want to plan for subsequent business stages that require a strategic roadmap.
  • When you want to explain your complex business model.

Now, a business plan can only help achieve all those things when it offers a true and realistic overview of your business and its strategies.

Absolutely, it’s a difficult task. But with the right tools and aid, you can create a realistic plan that offers a roadmap to success for your business.

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What to Write First—Business Plan or Pitch Deck

Ideally, a business plan should be drafted before creating a pitch deck.

The business plan demands thorough analysis and research. Writing it first will encourage you to explore the business nuances in detail.

You are more in sync with your business idea and its strategies by the time you are done writing your business plan. Such understanding is essential to creating a pitch deck that reflects your startup’s potential in a true light.

A Way Forward

It’s evident that you need both—a business plan and a pitch deck, to venture successfully into your market. Instead of contemplating, let’s make business planning easier for you.

Upmetrics offers a range of AI-powered solutions for all your business and strategic planning needs.

Whether you need an AI business plan generator to create a thorough business plan or AI pitch deck generator for a compelling pitch deck—Upmetrics has got you covered.

No need to spend any more time worrying about where and how to get started. Our perfectly designed solutions will guide you to create stellar business documents in no time.

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About the Author


Upmetrics Team

Upmetrics is the #1 business planning software that helps entrepreneurs and business owners create investment-ready business plans using AI. We regularly share business planning insights on our blog. Check out the Upmetrics blog for such interesting reads. Read more

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