Airbnb is arguably one of the most successful companies within the sharing economy. As a brand worth billions, it gives people the unique, memorable prospect of staying with locals when they travel.
Airbnb was certainly rewarded with impressive results after bringing the idea to fruition. As a business owner or aspiring entrepreneur, you can learn four valuable concepts from the Airbnb pitch deck that might also apply to your endeavor.
1. Show Why Your Idea Is Valuable
Maybe you're genuinely the first person to come up with the foundational principles of your business, or perhaps you found a need in the marketplace and believe you could fill it more readily than companies that already exist. Whatever the case, it's crucial to show investors and other interested parties why your idea is viable.
In other words, you must clearly convey the value of your proposition. Within Airbnb's first pitch deck, there are slides less than halfway through that highlight how many accommodation listings there are on couchsurfing.com, plus the San Francisco and New York versions of Craigslist, along with details about how many trips people booked.
Together, those carefully collected details indicate demand within the market and statistics that prove people travel frequently. The logical conclusion people reach as a result is that people go away from home often, and when doing so, they need places to stay.
2. Get to the Heart of What Your Business Will Do
Even the flashiest pitch presentation will be mostly useless if your audience leaves scratching their heads and feeling unsure about the purpose of your business.
The people responsible for creating the slides in the Airbnb pitch deck included a helpful tagline on the first one. It read: "Book rooms with locals, rather than hotels."
Immediately, that short message lets people know Airbnb is a service that allows people to bypass the traditional process of reserving hotel rooms and stay with locals instead. They can then use their brains to conjure up the various potential advantages of that arrangement, such as lower cost, getting insider tips, making new friends and being served homemade meals by willing hosts.
Do something similar by making sure no doubts remain about how your business will function and what it offers. You'll be amazed at how much you can communicate with powerful words.
3. Describe Solid Plans to Encourage Market Adoption
One of the other lessons from the Airbnb pitch deck is it's necessary to have concrete, data-driven plans for how to introduce your idea to the masses and get them to care about it. Approximately three-quarters of the way through Airbnb's pitch presentation is a slide covering market adoption.
There are specifics about monthly campaigns targeting events that are known to attract out-of-town visitors, such as Mardi Gras and CEBIT, an internationally represented computer and tech expo. Airbnb representatives also revealed intentions to create partnerships with websites catering to travelers on budgets or those who are interested in planning trips from home, like Orbitz and Kayak.
To genuinely win over investors and make them see your idea has enough momentum to not only get off the ground but also start tackling the marketplace, it's essential to present concrete and well-thought-out techniques for making that happen. On the contrary, vague possibilities will likely cause rolled eyes and bored sighs.
4. List Known Competitors and Your Advantages
Not being aware of your competitors and what those companies and brands offer will almost certainly lead to failed entrepreneurial outcomes and woefully incomplete pitches. Airbnb included a slide that listed major competitors. Also, a later part of the presentation described several factors that make Airbnb stand out.
By including such information in your pitch, it becomes apparent you've put forth the effort to thoroughly understand the potential threats you face before or after bringing your concept to life. By pointing out how your business will excel compared to competitors, you'll be more likely to make investors feel inspired and eager to provide financial support. That's why it's necessary to take the time required to figure out your competitive advantages and communicate them well.
Now that you've taken a closer look at the Airbnb pitch deck, you hopefully feel significantly more informed about why the service it provides has become so popular with travel enthusiasts and people who are simply looking for alternatives to hotel rooms. These four ideas could give you fresh perspectives that translate into pitches better than you thought possible.