The 10 questions to ask yourself before sitting down to write your business plan

The heavy ones Business plan (that multi-page printed document that entrepreneurs handed out when meeting potential investors) has already disappeared like typewriters. s are now expected to be able to show their plan and strategies in a clear presentation of socket, supplemented with informative pictures and graphics.

Although the format of the business plan has changed, the content is basically the same. When looking for venture capital for your business, you need to consider important issues like the size of your market, your team’s experience, and your long-term financial goals. At times when the economic crisis is still suffering, it can be especially difficult to show that your business plan is effective.

The 10 questions to ask yourself before sitting down to write your business plan
The 10 questions to ask yourself before sitting down to write your business plan

We share with you the top questions to ask before building your PowerPoint presentation with your business plan:

1. Have I demonstrated that I have an unmet need in the marketplace?
The economy is still struggling to recover, so entrepreneurs are under pressure to demonstrate in detail the strength of their market before raising capital. Do small market research and evaluate your offer so that you can realistically project how much you will sell in the future. According to Professor Edward Hess, venture capital relies more on companies that can prove they have customers ready to buy their offer.

2. How will I acquire and retain customers?
You also need to show that your idea is not just a fad. It is important that you fully understand how to find, attract, and retain customers. Some people say “We’re going to use keywords on the internet” but they haven’t yet defined what they are going to do to get users who enter their site to buy and come back.

3. Why am I better than the competition, now and in the future?
If you have direct competitors, you’ll need to assign multiple slides to explain exactly how you want to differentiate yourself from them. If you don’t have direct competition, explain why not (maybe because there is no market or because it’s too innovative). Remember to include indirect competition and replacement as well.

4. What’s the story behind my financial projections?
A common mistake entrepreneurs make in business plans is predicting that they will capture a certain percentage of the market for their product without explaining how they hope they will. Not only can you play numbers, but you need to specify exactly what strategies and decisions will get you from point A to point B.

5. What elements of the plan can I graphically?
Using PowerPoint as the format for creating a business plan invites entrepreneurs to place their pitches with fewer words and more pictures. Some parts of your company can be easily represented with charts, such as: B. Financial forecasts for which you can use bars. But you can also use photos and illustrations to demonstrate how your product works or how it differs from the competition.

6. Should I hire some consultants?
Bryan Pearce, director of Ernst Young’s Boston Venture Capital Council, says every startup should put together an advisory board – a small group of industry leaders who can complement your skills and help you formulate your plan.

This group shouldn’t necessarily have legal support, just be a source of advice and recommendations for the startup. The creation of this board should also be part of your business plan, and preferably have some testimonials from influential people speaking out about the potential of your idea.

7. How will I use my investors’ money?
Investors want details on how you will use the money they provide. Emphasize the cost to expect, when you will break even, and in which areas you will be investing the money.

8. Does my team match the state of my business?
Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking that they must have all of the key managers to run the business before they seek capital, but this is not always true. For example, if your idea is still in the prototype phase, you don’t need a field service. You should describe your hiring process and include it in your cost estimates. Bet on being more conservative in starting the business and avoiding excess equipment for your operational needs.

It is also important that you highlight who makes the current team and what skills they have for the company.

9. What is the exit plan for my company?
Potential investors want to know how to achieve a return on investment. If your company is hoping to be listed on the stock exchange one day, it is worth highlighting the case of other similar companies that have successfully done so.

If you think your company is a good candidate for an acquisition, reach out to potential alliances and potential buyers and include those names in your business plan. It is important that you understand who they are and demonstrate your relationship with them.

10. What is my personal exit plan?
If you are a 45 year old founder and dream of retiring at 55, don’t be afraid to reveal it in your business plan. Potential investors want to know that you have already defined your personal goals and how you have aligned them with those of the company. For example, if you don’t plan to be in business long, your plan should include a succession strategy (e.g. talent development in the organization) so that the transition to new leadership is seamless.

Investors want to know the truth, so transparency is essential to captivate the ideal partner.

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