If you want to start a business then you should have a plan. In this blog post, I have explained all the points which you need to write a business plan. Let’s cover the all points step by step.
What’s the point of developing a business plan in less than 3 hours?
To start a business, you should start with a business plan. Business plans are like a roadmap because you will only get there if you know where you want to go. So a business plan lays the groundwork for the venture, explaining how you want the venture to operate so that you know where you are going and how to get there.
- There is no need to waste time with plans that are not fulfilled. Everything will go differently than planned, so the time set is adequate.
- You continually adapt the plan you have for your company to change. It is good to have a reference point, but the marked route will change.
- You must realize that developing a business plan in less than 3 hours is possible. It may be incomplete, but we will have a result.
Another question that needs to be answered is the following. What is the use of creating a business plan? You have all three objectives and possible purposes:
- Mark a starting point for your project that you can reference when you start navigating with your start-up.
- Document to obtain financing from investors or other entities with the possibility of accessing sources of money.
- Historical documentation of the project serves as learning to avoid repeating the same mistakes.
Points that an express business plan should include
A business plan can only consist of Excel. Today we will not settle for that, but we will go a step further. The idea is to create a presentation in Powerpoint format that encompasses the nine most important points.
Problem: justify the basis of your idea because there is a need
Everything starts from a very simple base. For every business, there has to be a need. It may not even exist yet. In this case, you must show that what you have planned can make sense. E.g., you could have developed a medicine for cats that prolongs life on average by one year. Although there is no specific need, it is common sense that owners will take this product away from you because they love their pets.
Solution: how do you solve the identified problem?
Without going into details, you must present your problem’s solution. For example, if you have initially verified that cat lovers are the most passionate group of pet owners and that they would do anything for the animal, you propose the solution here. Refrain from being too ambitious at the beginning, and do not try to solve the global problems of humanity but only infinitely small parts of it that add value.
Business model: how are you going to make money?
Where and how does the money come from? It is the main question you have to answer at this point. Will you have a subscription model? Will it be punctual payments, license sales, etc.? It is challenging to be clear from the beginning if your business is more complex. In the case of an online store, the response is much faster and easier.
Technology: What technology will you use to gain an edge over the competition?
It is about emphasizing that you use and develop your technology, which is state-of-the-art. So, for example, sometimes it may make sense to say that you use WordPress and that it represents cost savings and greater flexibility than your competition that has its platforms.
Marketing and sales: how are you going to sell?
Do not tell the story that you will sell to 0.000x% of the Chinese in the world and that you have a multi-million dollar idea. You have to base yourself on existing resources or justify, well, already in this part, the funds you will need. Especially if you address an investor, you have to be able to show how you are going to attract customers. In most cases, you have already discovered a way to do it, and you “only” need financing to grow faster.
Competition: who does the same or something similar to you?
The worst possible answer is that you have no competition. There are always alternatives to your offer. Although what you do is not the same, you compete for a very similar target audience. For example, Coca-Cola competes in some way with beer because they are an alternative drink. Even if your product or service is new, mention in this part the alternatives that exist, being as similar as possible to what you offer.
Team: who participates in the adventure?
Above all, for an investor, the most important thing is the team. Here you should present a mix of experienced, passionate, and likable people. The last point is essential. Nobody invests in a project if the “feeling” is missing. Teams are only sometimes complete. In this case, also mention the gaps you still plan to fill so that you do not appear unaware of them.
Milestones achieved and next steps.
It is necessary to show the route taken for planning and internal documentation and convincing an investor. Likewise, one must convey the confidence that one knows where one is going, explaining the next steps and milestones one seeks to achieve. Putting 3 points in each part is enough because there is no more space on a slide anyway, and you have to focus on the essentials.
Finances: what are your financial needs within the next five years?
It is true. A term of 5 years seems too long, and it is. It is usually the standard when we make financial projections for investors. There are mixed emotions here. On the one hand, the investor wants you to be realistic, but on the other hand, he wants to see that he can get rich (or, let’s say, even richer) by investing in your project. It will always discount 80% of your projections in the fifth year. If afterward the figures still seem attractive and the rest fit, there is a certain probability that he will invest in your project.
Come this far; you will think: “3 hours, man?” Yes, look, I’ll explain how you can achieve it:
- Take less than 15 minutes per point. If you still need to finish it, move on to the next. Don’t worry about the design now.
- Each point has exactly one slide. The letter has to be big enough. Don’t overload them with text.
- When the 15 minutes of the last point have passed, review and complete everything. You have 45 minutes left for the final touch.
- Do not be sad. You can later invest more time and fill in the information. You now have a starting point that would normally have cost you 20 hours.