A business plan is essential for any business owner who wants to see their company succeed.
But too often, business plans are long, wordy, and filled with jargon that only insiders can understand.
One of the biggest challenges with any business is having enough capital to do the things you want to do.
You have to have a successful business plan.
This is a guide for busy business owners who want to create a business plan that will actually get results.
Your business plan should include the following:
- You need an executive summary (one page, and it summarizes the whole thing).
- You need an industry overview, which is the problem and the overview of the market.
- You need a description of the product or the service, which is the solution.
- You need a competitive analysis.
- You need a sales and marketing plan.
- You need to talk about your target customer and your proof of concept.
- You need to detail your operations.
- You need to define your management team, your board of advisers, your dream team.
- You need financial projections.
- You need a risk analysis and appendix.
Those are the elements of a successful business plan. I call it your sales and marketing plan.
Investors want to see your (business) plan!
If you are going to raise capital, you don’t just talk to an investor.
I get all these people who come to me and say they have this idea, and boom—it’s on a napkin.
They tell me that they just need 100 grand for 10 percent.
And I ask them if they can send me their business plan.
And they ask me what I mean when I say a business plan. Oh, you don’t have one?
That means I am going to give you the 100 grand and never see it again.
I think it’s important that people understand that part of this whole business plan and marketing and sales plan is also how much money you need.
You know, what’s the ask.
One of the most important parts of raising capital is coming up with a reasonable ask, and then what’s going to be the use of proceeds.
These are things that people don’t understand.
Here’s a great example of why all business owners need a business plan!
For example, a guy came on Shark Tank.
He said he needed 150 grand for 10 percent of his company.
I asked him what he was going to use 150 grand for.
His response was essentially this, “Well, I am going to use that on a down payment for a piece of real estate where we are going to build a building and then launch the business.”
I turned around and asked if the $150,000 was expected for the down payment on the real estate.
He responded by saying, “Yes, I need that.”
I responded, “Okay, so you are going to build the building and then equip the building with furniture. Where is that money going to come from?”
He said once he got the real estate, then we would deal with that money, that we would figure out that batch of money at that time.
I’m thinking to myself that $150,000 doesn’t get you in business. I then tell him that $150,000 gets you a piece of land.
I asked, “How are you going to build the business, generate revenue, and pay me back?”
This guy told me that he thought I would have more money for him after that.
Well, no. “You are not going to get the first batch of money, based on the answers you are giving me about what you are going to do with the use of proceeds.”
This is what all investors want to hear (before they invest in your business)!
Instead of someone saying they are going to lease a small office somewhere, why not start
generating massive amounts of revenue with the money I give them?
Then, pay me back all my money, punt a huge return in my investment, and then build this into a global business.
That’s what I want to hear.
I want to know that people have a successful business plan, they have a successful marketing plan, and then I talk about how to go about raising the capital, how to call on investors, and what are the sweet spots of investors.
The bottom line is that raising capital is an art and a big part art of it involves showing off your killer business plans, and part of it involves incorporating the perfect pitch.
If you don’t look toward the future by showing off how much money your business still has to make, then you are not going to get funding.
Here’s a shark tip for writing a business plan:
Most people don’t have time to read a 90-page explanation of your plan.
Give them a quick highlight reel and include key items , such as:
-What’s the problem?
-What’s the solution
-Progress to date?
-What are you looking for?
If you can boil this down to 1-2 pages, the person reading it knows you, not only can communicate efficiently, but have clarity on your own plan.
A well-written business plan is essential for any successful businesses.
It should be clear, concise, and provide direction for achieving specific goals and objectives .
If you’re not sure where to start, follow this guide to write a business plan that actually gets results .
By following these steps, you’ll be on track to creating a comprehensive business plan that sets your business up for success.