Whether you are braving the pitch world to find a financer on Shark Tank, or you are striving to get your team organized, you need a KILLER business plan. What exactly does that mean? Is it just an outline? Is it a letter to a bank? Is it a report? I’m sure it has trendy business graphs!!…What else do you need? What EXACTLY are the “powers that be” looking for in a confident and solvent business?
There are 5 main parts business professionals (financial tycoons) are looking for and they really aren’t that hard!
- What does the playing field look like in comparison with your business/product? There are 2 high-level ways to do this: SWOT and Porter’s 5 Analysis of your business. This basically is the business world’s way of asking: What is your business good at?, bad at?, what is the rest of the industry good at?, and how can your business create opportunities in the industry?
- What is your company’s Mission, Vision, and Strategy? This seems simple, but the business world is looking for how your company messaging, purpose, organization, and plan of action are intertwined with the plan that you have to move forward. This shows your business will be able to follow through with the plan, make changes along the way, and work hard to achieve the plan you are proposing. They feel that if you are committed to something, it will show through the lifeblood and purpose of the company.
- What does it mean to them? The mentality of a 5 year old definitely applies here, in a good way! When preparing to fund a business venture you need to think selflessly about your dream business. It’s hard. This is a time that is easy to become offended, brings up emotional memories, and takes strides of courage. Just remember, they need to know why it’s important to them and why people should care about your best invention ever.
- What’s the Plan? You’ve buttered them up, explained the business, explained why they should care, now you need to bring the organizing PIZZAZZ! (Not JOKING) When investing in a company/idea, people need to see that your business has thought through contingencies and clearly and concisely can get from point 1 to point 10 and all you need is a little boost from them. This should have general steps that show you know your weaknesses and how to overcome them, test groups, adjusting and re-adjusting the plan, specific dates and milestones, prep prior to and post product launch.
- Where’s the After Party? Why would they want more? They didn’t ask for more…but you need to show them you are prepared. Give them pre-launch survey results, a chart outlining the key milestones with dates assigned, and another simple chart that shows and how long it will take until the business is profitable and then what the profit will look like after breakeven and on into the next quarter/year. Sample flyers and mock ups of what they can expect and that show what success looks like are never overboard but just help to build the vision you are hoping they’ll catch.
That’s pretty easy! Make sure to go through your data and get it right, practice what you’ll say, their names and titles, etc. If you are just doing this for your company, it is a GREAT place to build team vision for the future. Rally your group around you, share the plan, hand it out to everyone that needs one, and say a few inspirational words, a GO TEAM, and then get to work with the follow through! I know your business will be successful as you are prepared. Don’t be afraid to make a bold move. You have amazing ideas and the world needs more amazing ideas these days!