Friday, May 23, 2008

Write a Business Plan?

For many years I have believed the mantra that no business will succeed without a formal business plan. I now think this is only partially true. The plan process is vital, the plan output is less-so. A typical business plan has a section about the market followed by how you will address that market, the team you will have, the description of the product or service you'll provide, some financial projections that culminate in the amount you need to raise to get going. The SBA website is a great place to start this process.

I've come to believe now that the business plan can be simpler and more to the point. It doesn't matter what you write down in a fancy, 6 inch thick bound plan, so long as you can articulate and follow these 5 steps completely and accurately.

1. What is the "Need" you're trying to meet.
-The more urgent the need, the better the opportunity. You want to be selling aspirin, rather than vitamins; if a person's hair is on fire, you want to provide the water bucket.

How big is the Opportunity?
-Notice I didn't say "market." The market may be huge, but your opportunity may not be. Many companies have failed chasing the gloves-to-the-Chinese fallacy: ...there are so many of them, if I could only sell 1% I'd make a fortune...

2. Who else is trying to meet the Need and why are you different/better?
-You've got to have a really good answer to this question. You may have identified a great need (curing the common cold) but have no hope of beating out the more well-financed competitors.
-People usually speak of a "competitive advantage" in this section. You must have more than that. You must make the reader (and yourself) believe that you have an "Unfair Advantage" over the competition - and by the way, this gets the VC's really hot.
-This is where your Team or your bright idea are really important.

3. Now the hard part- How are you going to do it.
-You have to actually have a plan that starts at the beginning and gets you all the way to the finish line. Plans that start well but have a "...we'll figure out the rest when we get there," will not be successful.

4. The financial projections naturally fall out of your assessment of the market opportunity and how you're going to capture it.
-The big secret is that all financial projections are hooey. Nobody can predict the future with any accuracy. Nonetheless, you have to prepare one because the discipline of the process will be educational and uncover things you overlooked.
-The VC's, will discount most of the plan anyway.
-The best deals are ones for which you don't need a calculator to see the value.

5. Don't ask for how much you need, ask for how much you can get.
You don't want to be raising money every week. If you need a million dollars, but think you can raise $1.5, go for it. Your projections are not that accurate anyway, you'll need it.
-If you're afraid that you'll give up too much of the company cheap: Stop worrying. The worst that can happen is that you have too much financing and you can accelerate your success. More likely, you'll use the extra funds to take care of the thousands of things you didn't expect.

I've read thousands of business plans and written many as well. As an Angel investor, I can tell you that the screening process is pretty short and sweet. A sloppy preparation comes to light quickly. A very good article on what not to say in your business plan comes from Angel Investor Barry Moltz.

Focus on what's most important as part of planning your business and a business plan will materialize before your eyes..

I'd like your thoughts...


tike mik said...

Limited partners are only there to provide funding to the business. They have no say in business operations, neither do they share the responsibility of any debt or other business obligations. mastermind pages

tike mik said...

This is a manufacturing execution system for collecting job costing data (time), production reporting and materials use in real time. Comes with a nifty scheduling tool also. click here

tike mik said...

If we look at it over the last 10 years, from 2002 to 2012, Medicare is the fastest growing part of the major entitlement programs in the federal government, and it's grown by almost 70% during that period of time. how to make cbd isolate capsules

Anonymous said...

Is the Coin Casino Safe or Scam? | Casinoworld
The Coin Casino is a fully licensed online casino that is licensed in 12bet the United 1XBET States and 인카지노 has a history of accepting transactions. This casino

abbegailzahradka said...

Find Casinos 용인 출장마사지 Near Casino Oro, SD 문경 출장샵 near MOHEGOWOOD on 서산 출장샵 Mapyro. 부산광역 출장마사지 Address and Phone number. Map of Casinos. Near 경산 출장안마 Casino Oro.

gardinadaiker said...

Casino Games at Wildz Casino - Jackson County - JTM Hub
Casino 용인 출장마사지 Games at Wildz 경주 출장샵 Casino For more information about casinos and games offered at Wildz 김해 출장안마 Casino 이천 출장마사지 including games, customer service, complaints and 군포 출장샵 promotions.

Anonymous said...

Top 20 casinos in the UK: gambling sites, bonuses, & payment
Best UK gambling sites · get air jordan 18 retro racer blue Betfred · Betfred air jordan 18 retro men red free shipping · Betfair where can you buy air jordan 18 retro men red · Betfair · 22Bet · Betfair · BetVictor best air jordan 18 retro men red · 10 벳 MansionBet.

raelenelaberge said...

By opting in a welcome provide, may be} most certainly going to spice up your bankroll and get extra enjoying in} time, which in turn, gives you extra chances to win. Believe it or not, 배당 토토 there are 200% slots welcome bonuses nonetheless in circulation. There is no shortage of bonuses up for grabs at the on-line casinos featured here, but there are some that are be} much more advantageous for slots gamers than others.

icaruszagami said...

Elegant metal work and hints of gold within the upholstery are the ultimate touches that bring heat and sophistication. Las Vegas Inspired Craps is right here in San Diego and the most effective is at Viejas. If you’re new to the sport of craps, here’s a quick tutorial on one of the most fun games found on our on line casino ground. Or you can to|you probably can} print out a cheat sheet and convey it to the desk with you. Now, 점보카지노 variety of the} other gamers would possibly poke fun at you…but you’ll get the last snort once as} you’ve received five towering stacks of “quarters” ($25 chips) sitting in entrance of you.

zenejahmillah said...

Unfortunately, mBit is completely crypto-based, meaning they don’t settle for deposits in USD or different currencies. While this in all probability not|will not be} a problem for some individuals, it effectively excludes those who don’t gamble online with cryptocurrency. In addition to virtual sports betting, w88 login new clients are eligible for a really generous Bitcoin sign-up bonus of 300% (up to $3,000). Additionally, customers also can benefit of|benefit from|reap the benefits of} the 225% WAGGINTAILS welcome bonus that can be utilized on slots, Keno, scratch cards, and board video games. Along with a 30x maximum payout, the WAGGINTAILS bonus also tacks on an extra 20% if the deposit is made with Bitcoin or NeoSurf.

gabriellaoare said...

The developer boasts that over ten trillion video games have been performed. It options selection of|quite so much of|a wide selection of} slots video games, including 5 reels and three reels. Most of the complaints by different gamers is that the sport doesn’t have cloud saving. That means you’ll lose your progress if you swap phones. The developer has quantity of} different first rate slots video games as properly. It offers you a large amount of in-game currency to play 토토사이트 with at first.