Does your Startup Really Need a Business Plan? It really depends on a number of factors but the primary one is: What is your goal here?
Are you performing an academic exercise because you’re curious and want to learn how it’s done…or because you actually want to launch a business?
If you really want to launch a business: Is this just a guiding document for you and your people, or are you trying to actually raise investor capital to fund your startup?
Or is it a combination of them?
There’s a likely scenario where you will need a Business Plan for your Startup business – when you’re new. Or Young. Unproven. When you don’t have a track record (or a very long one). Why will you need a Business Plan then?
Because investors will be asking questions. And you’re going to need answers. To all of their questions. At least…if you want to have any hope of raising capital. What kinds of questions do you need to answer in you Startup Business Plan?
Who are you? What’s your experience? What’s your track record/education/background? Any special skills? What are you trying to do here? What are you selling? Who’s your competition? Who are you selling to? How big is your market? What channels will you use to reach them? What’s your Marketing Strategy? What problem are you solving? What are the trends in the industry? Any regulatory hurdles or legislation to be concerned with? And lawsuits in the industry going to change things any time soon? Who do you need to hire? What will they cost? What will it take to build what you want to offer? What are your time-frames? What are you going to offer investors? Will you offer equity to employees? Options? Benefits? What’s your overhead? Where will your office/shop be located? Will you buy or lease? How much do you need to make? What are the milestones of development, revenue, and profitability? Investor payback timeline? What kind of ROI? Do you own any Intellectual property? Any patents? Is any IP you have patent-able? Are you using anyone else’s tech or invention and if so: what are the licensing requirements? What are the growth opportunities? Is anything you do applicable to other markets? What’s your supply-chain look like? How can technology make your business more efficient and grow faster? How scalable is your business? What are your margins? What are your financial projections? Org chart? A few questions…to start.
And a good Business Plan has lots of charts, footnotes and references, spreadsheets, financials, schematics, maps – lots of information that answers all questions.
But if you are not looking for a ton of money to seed your startup: an Executive Summary may do the trick. Especially if you’re not new and have a track record or reputation. And especially if you have established relationships.
One thing all startup investors want to know is how you’re going to use the money. Are you going to hire a consultant (like us) to get your documents in order like your Business Plan and Executive Summary, create your Financial Projections & Pro Forma’s, get your Web site up and running and start building your following and marketing campaign(s), and to help you build out any specialized technology from custom software on the web, for mobile, in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space – you name it. Technology is technology. And at the end of the day: a seed round of investment grows into a Series A, B, C, Mezzanine Financing, or an IPO. Or in the cryptocurrency space an ICO or what they are calling an STO (Security Token Offering) these days. Lots of concern over who regulates cryptocurrency in the US and whether it’s a security or a utility/consumable token/coin. We’re experts – happy to discuss what may be right for you.
Regardless- and especially in the cryptocurrency/blockchain startup space – a Business Plan is a very good idea. It can be a living document as change is the only constant and your Startup Business Plan will definitely have to adapt to a changing environment. Constantly.
If you are approaching folks who are familiar like friend, family, or acquaintances: an Executive Summary will probably do the trick. But make sure you cover all the bases and pain the full picture. Just do it in 2-3 pages or so.
Speed is also a consideration. Do you want to start pitching investors next week? Better have your shit together. Better know your elevator pitch, your story, your numbers, your market, your growth, your competition, and your strategy. COLD.
The truth is that writing a Business Plan for most Startup Founders is a chance to crystallize all those thoughts and ideas and notes and snapshots and feelings and turn it into a concrete business strategy. A document that could be read by an intelligent person as a To Do List. Almost. But it needs to be that robust.
Otherwise it’s not a plan.
As always: we’re happy to help you craft your documents in your voice to obtain maximum traction in the market and from investors.
Business Plans, Executive Summaries, Web Sites and Copy, or More Sales: Just Get in touch. We got you.