Before you go looking for investors and funding, you need to make sure your startup’s business plan is rock solid. Here are some tips to help you develop an outstanding business plan for your early-stage business.
Your business plan is going to be the first thing that potential investors look at when you solicit them for money or if they are looking for another business to add to their portfolio. Therefore, your business plan is going to be one of your biggest keys to success as a startup. There are going to be a few key things that investors look for in a business plan and you must address them in order to have a winning plan; the following are five things that you definitely need to include on your business plan in order to make it a winning one.
How large is your market? Is it growing? Is your market filled with repeat customers? Are there emerging opportunities within that market? Is that market under threat from anything? By addressing these questions in your business plan, you will not only give yourself and investors an idea of what you are looking at for future sustainability and growth, things that will be key in your business’s success.
Size Up Your Competition
Instead of ignoring your competition in your business plan, address them. Include the things that your competitors have to their advantage in your business plan, and state how you are different or how you have an edge over these already-established businesses. This will show your investors that you have a realistic head on your shoulders and are able to look at the big picture; both good signs of success for a business.
At the end of the day, people are investing in your business in order to make money. Having three year minimum projections will show your investors how much your business stands to make versus how much it stands to lose, and will put your investors’ minds at ease about the risk that they are taking in investing in you. These projections will look especially tantalizing if you include market analytics that are well founded and come from good sources.
Cash Flow Statements
Even if you are just starting your business, if you are already gaining cash flow, you should state it on the business plan that you are offering to investors, and tie them into your projections of cash flow. Any sort of positive cash flow is going to be attractive to your investors and will draw them in more than almost anything else on your business plan since these statements have already happened and are not based on abstract statistics of years past or years to come.
Give An Executive Summary Of Your Business
Even though this should go at the forefront of your business plan, it was left for last on this list to make sure that all of the other elements of a good business plan went into your executive summary. These are synonymous with abstracts in a scientific study; they are to give your investors an idea of who you are and what you aim to do, with results included. This should be short, sweet, and to the point, but should be polished and include enough detail to tantalize them enough to read further.