Okay folks, this will wrap up our Business Plan 101 discussion (for now!). In order for your business plan to be Concise, Compelling, and Complete, you’ll want to include the following elements:
A quantifiable explanation of the painful problem and how you plan to solve it
Your company’s objectives, including an analysis of the competition
A description of your product or service, how you plan to achieve world domination with it, and which follow-on products you have in mind to up-sell to customers
Five years’ worth of projected financials (quarterly for the first three, annually is okay for years four and five) and how you plan to cover growth and expenses
Marketing and sales strategy, defining your pricing, product positioning, promotions, and the like (at the least a section describing the first few releases of a product and the high-level product plan)
Your team, and why they are exceptional
Your plan for overcoming predictable obstacles—for example, risk management and mitigation
Include only the info necessary to support the claims you make in the plan. You MIGHT Appendix résumés of key executives, press coverage, white papers, or anything else to boost credibility. If you’re tempted to be more long winded though, imagine FedEx dumping yet another load of documents onto a busy financier’s desk. There are some slim, sexy Boxsters there, and then there’s your big, clunky minivan. Which plans do you think the investor will grab first?
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