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How to Write a Convincing Business Plan for Investors
Raising money for your business is a major effort. You need lists of investors to reach out to and you need to be prepared for your investor meetings to increase your chances of getting funded . You need to practice your pitch and be ready to intelligently answer any number of questions about your business. A key to making this entire process much easier is to invest a little time and write a business plan . It’s true — not all investors will ask to see your business plan. But the process of putting together a business plan will ensure that you’ve thought through every aspect of your business and you’re ready to answer any questions that come up during the fundraising process.
Why do investors want to see a business plan?
The business plan document itself isn’t what’s important to investors. It’s the knowledge that you’ve generated by going through the process that’s important. Having a business plan shows that you’ve done the homework of thinking through how your business will work and what goals you’re trying to achieve.
When you put together a business plan, you have to spend time thinking about things like your target market , your sales, and marketing strategy , the problem you solve for your customers, and who your key competitors are . A business plan provides the structure for thinking through these things and documents your answers so you’re prepared for the inevitable questions investors will ask about your business.
Even if investors never ask to see your business plan, the work you’ve done to prepare it will ensure that you can intelligently answer the questions you’ll get. And, if an investor does ask for your business plan, then you’re prepared and ready to hand it over. After all, nothing could be worse than arriving at an investor meeting and then getting a request for a business plan and not having one ready.
Beyond understanding your business strategy, investors will also want to understand your financial forecasts. They want to know how your business will function from a financial standpoint — what is typically called your “ business model .” They’ll also want to know what it will take for your business to be profitable and where you anticipate spending money to grow the business. A complete financial plan is part of any business plan, so investing a little time here will serve you well.
What do investors want to see in a business plan?
There’s no such thing as a perfect business plan and investors know this. After all, they’ve spent years, and often decades, hearing business pitches, reading business plans, investing in companies, and watching them both succeed and fail. As entrepreneur and investor Steve Blank likes to say, “No business plan survives first contact with a customer.”
If this is true, then why bother writing a business plan at all? What’s the value of planning and why do investors want them if they know the plan will shortly be outdated?
The secret is that it’s the planning process, not the final plan, that’s valuable. Investors want to know that you’ve thought about your idea, documented your assumptions, and are on track to validate those assumptions so that you can remove risk from your business.
So what do investors want to see in your business plan? Beyond the typical sections , here are the most important things that investors want to see in your plan.
A vision for the future
Investors, particularly those investing in early-stage startups, want to understand your vision . Where do you see your company going in the future? Who will your customers be and what problems will you solve for them? Your vision may take years to execute — and it’s likely that the vision will change and evolve over time — but investors want to know that you’re thinking beyond tomorrow and into the future.
Product/market fit and traction
Investors want more than just an idea. They want evidence that you are solving a problem for customers. Your customers have to want what you are selling for you to build a successful business and your business plan needs to describe the evidence that you’ve found that proves that you’ll be able to sell your products and services to customers. If you have “traction” in the form of early sales and customers, that’s even better.
Funding needed and use of funds
When you’re pitching investors, you need to know how much you’re asking for. Your financial forecast should help you figure this out. You’ll want to raise enough money to cover planned expenses and cash flow requirements plus some additional funding as a safety net. In addition, you’ll want to specify exactly how you plan on using your investment . In a business plan, this section is often called “sources and uses of investment.”
A strong management team
A good idea is really only a small part of the equation for a successful business. In fact, lots of people have good business ideas — it’s the people that can execute well that generally succeed. Investors will pay a lot of attention to the section of your plan where you talk about your management team because they want to know that you can transform your idea into a successful business. If you have gaps and still need to hire key employees, that’s OK. Communicating that you understand what your needs are is the most important thing.
An exit strategy
When investors give you money to start and grow your business, they are looking to eventually make a return on their investment. This could happen by eventually selling your business to a larger company or even by going public. One way or another, investors will want to know your thoughts about an eventual exit strategy for your business.
What documents do investors want to see?
Even if investors never ask for a detailed business plan, your business planning process should produce a few key documents that investors will want to see. Here’s what you need to be prepared to pitch investors:
These days, a lot of fundraising outreach is done over email and you’ll need a concise cover letter that sparks investor interest. Your cover letter needs to be very brief, but describe the problem you’re solving for your target market. Great cover letters are sometimes in a “story” format that hooks readers with a real-world, relatable example of the problems your customers face and how our product or service The goal of the cover letter isn’t to explain every aspect of your business. It’s just to spark interest and get a meeting with an investor where you’ll have more time to actually pitch your business. Keep your cover letter brief, engaging, and to the point.
If you get an investor meeting, you’ll almost certainly need a pitch deck to present your idea in more detail and showcase your business idea. Your pitch deck will cover the problem you’re solving, your solution, your target market, and key market trends. Read our detailed guide on what to include in your pitch deck here and for inspiration check out our gallery of more than 50 Industry Pitch Deck Examples .
Executive summary and/or Lean Plan
You might not get a meeting right away. Your cover letter may generate a request for additional information and this is where a solid executive summary or lean business plan comes in handy. This document, while still short, is more detailed than your cover letter and explains a bit more about your business in a page or two. Read more about what goes into a great executive summary and how to build a lean business plan .
Investors will inevitably want to see your financial forecasts. You’ll need a sales forecast, expense budget , cash flow forecast , profit and loss, and balance sheet . If you have historical results, you should plan on sharing those too as well as any other key metrics about your business. Investors will always look deep under the hood of your business, so be prepared to share all the details of how your business will work from a financial perspective.
What to include in your investor business plan
When you put together a detailed business plan for investors, you’ll follow a fairly standard format. Of course, feel free to customize your plan to fit your business needs. Remember: your business plan isn’t about the plan document that you create — it’s about the planning process that helps you think through and develop your business strategy. Here’s what most investor business plans will include:
Usually written last, your executive summary is an overview of your business. As I mentioned earlier, you might use the executive summary as a stand-alone document to provide investors more detail about your business in a concise form. Read our guide on executive summaries here .
The opportunity section of your plan covers the problem you are solving, what your solution is, and highlights any data you have to prove that people will spend money on what you’re offering. If you have customer validation in any form, this is where you highlight that information.
Describe what your target market is and key trends that are occurring in this market . Is the market growing? Are buying patterns changing? How is your business positioned to take advantage of these changes? Be sure to spend some time discussing your competition and how your target market solves their problems today and how your solution is superior.
Marketing & Sales Plan
Most businesses need to figure out how to get the word out and attract customers. Your business plan should include a marketing plan that describes how you’re going to reach your target market and any key marketing initiatives that you’re going to undertake. You should also spend time describing your sales plan, especially if your sales process takes time to close customers.
Milestones / Roadmap
Outline key milestones you hope to achieve and when you plan on achieving them. This section should cover key dates for product development, key partnerships you need to create, and any other important goals you plan on achieving.
Company & Management
Here’s where you describe the nuts and bolts of your business. How is your organization structured? Who is on your team and what are their backgrounds? Are there any important positions that you still need to recruit for?
As I mentioned, you’ll need to create a profit and loss, cash flow, and balance sheet forecast. Your financial plan should be optimistic, yet realistic. This is a tough balance and your forecast is certain to be wrong, but you need to document your assumptions and plans for the business.
Finally, you can include an appendix for any key additional information you want to share. Product diagrams, additional details on how you deliver your service, or additional research can all be included.
What comes next?
Writing a business plan for investors is really about preparing you to pitch your business . It’s quite likely that you’ll never get asked for the actual business plan document. But, the process will prepare you better than anything else to answer any questions investors may have.
Noah is currently the COO at Palo Alto Software, makers of the online business plan app LivePlan. You can follow Noah on Twitter .
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500+ Free business plan examples
Need help writing your business plan? Explore over 500 free real-world business plan examples from a wide variety of industries to guide you through writing your own plan. If you're looking for an intuitive tool that walks you through the plan writing process, we recommend LivePlan . It includes many of these same SBA-approved business plan examples and is especially useful when applying for a bank loan or outside investment.
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Example business plan format
Before you start exploring our library of business plan examples, it's worth taking the time to understand the traditional business plan format . You'll find that the plans in this library and most investor-approved business plans will include the following sections:
The executive summary is an overview of your business and your plans. It comes first in your plan and is ideally only one to two pages. You should also plan to write this section last after you've written your full business plan.
Your executive summary should include a summary of the problem you are solving, a description of your product or service, an overview of your target market, a brief description of your team, a summary of your financials, and your funding requirements (if you are raising money).
Products & services
The products & services chapter of your business plan is where the real meat of your plan lives. It includes information about the problem that you're solving, your solution, and any traction that proves that it truly meets the need you identified.
This is your chance to explain why you're in business and that people care about what you offer. It needs to go beyond a simple product or service description and get to the heart of why your business works and benefits your customers.
Conducting a market analysis ensures that you fully understand the market that you're entering and who you'll be selling to. This section is where you will showcase all of the information about your potential customers. You'll cover your target market as well as information about the growth of your market and your industry. Focus on outlining why the market you're entering is viable and creating a realistic persona for your ideal customer base.
Part of defining your opportunity is determining what your competitive advantage may be. To do this effectively you need to get to know your competitors just as well as your target customers. Every business will have competition, if you don't then you're either in a very young industry or there's a good reason no one is pursuing this specific venture.
To succeed, you want to be sure you know who your competitors are, how they operate, necessary financial benchmarks, and how you're business will be positioned. Start by identifying who your competitors are or will be during your market research. Then leverage competitive analysis tools like the competitive matrix and positioning map to solidify where your business stands in relation to the competition.
Marketing & sales
The marketing and sales plan section of your business plan details how you plan to reach your target market segments. You'll address how you plan on selling to those target markets, what your pricing plan is, and what types of activities and partnerships you need to make your business a success.
The operations section covers the day-to-day workflows for your business to deliver your product or service. What's included here fully depends on the type of business. Typically you can expect to add details on your business location, sourcing and fulfillment, use of technology, and any partnerships or agreements that are in place.
Milestones & metrics
The milestones section is where you lay out strategic milestones to reach your business goals.
A good milestone clearly lays out the parameters of the task at hand and sets expectations for its execution. You'll want to include a description of the task, a proposed due date, who is responsible, and eventually a budget that's attached. You don't need extensive project planning in this section, just key milestones that you want to hit and when you plan to hit them.
You should also discuss key metrics, which are the numbers you will track to determine your success. Some common data points worth tracking include conversion rates, customer acquisition costs, profit, etc.
Company & team
Use this section to describe your current team and who you need to hire. If you intend to pursue funding, you'll need to highlight the relevant experience of your team members. Basically, this is where you prove that this is the right team to successfully start and grow the business. You will also need to provide a quick overview of your legal structure and history if you're already up and running.
Your financial plan should include a sales and revenue forecast, profit and loss statement, cash flow statement, and a balance sheet. You may not have established financials of any kind at this stage. Not to worry, rather than getting all of the details ironed out, focus on making projections and strategic forecasts for your business. You can always update your financial statements as you begin operations and start bringing in actual accounting data.
Now, if you intend to pitch to investors or submit a loan application, you'll also need a "use of funds" report in this section. This outlines how you intend to leverage any funding for your business and how much you're looking to acquire. Like the rest of your financials, this can always be updated later on.
The appendix isn't a required element of your business plan. However, it is a useful place to add any charts, tables, definitions, legal notes, or other critical information that supports your plan. These are often lengthier or out-of-place information that simply didn't work naturally into the structure of your plan. You'll notice that in these business plan examples, the appendix mainly includes extended financial statements.
Types of business plans explained
While all business plans cover similar categories, the style and function fully depend on how you intend to use your plan. To get the most out of your plan, it's best to find a format that suits your needs. Here are a few common business plan types worth considering.
Traditional business plan
The tried-and-true traditional business plan is a formal document meant to be used for external purposes. Typically this is the type of plan you'll need when applying for funding or pitching to investors. It can also be used when training or hiring employees, working with vendors, or in any other situation where the full details of your business must be understood by another individual.
Business model canvas
The business model canvas is a one-page template designed to demystify the business planning process. It removes the need for a traditional, copy-heavy business plan, in favor of a single-page outline that can help you and outside parties better explore your business idea.
The structure ditches a linear format in favor of a cell-based template. It encourages you to build connections between every element of your business. It's faster to write out and update, and much easier for you, your team, and anyone else to visualize your business operations.
One-page business plan
The true middle ground between the business model canvas and a traditional business plan is the one-page business plan . This format is a simplified version of the traditional plan that focuses on the core aspects of your business.
By starting with a one-page plan , you give yourself a minimal document to build from. You'll typically stick with bullet points and single sentences making it much easier to elaborate or expand sections into a longer-form business plan.
Growth planning is more than a specific type of business plan. It's a methodology. It takes the simplicity and styling of the one-page business plan and turns it into a process for you to continuously plan, forecast, review, and refine based on your performance.
It holds all of the benefits of the single-page plan, including the potential to complete it in as little as 27 minutes . However, it's even easier to convert into a more detailed plan thanks to how heavily it's tied to your financials. The overall goal of growth planning isn't to just produce documents that you use once and shelve. Instead, the growth planning process helps you build a healthier company that thrives in times of growth and remain stable through times of crisis.
It's faster, keeps your plan concise, and ensures that your plan is always up-to-date.
Download a free sample business plan template
Ready to start writing your own plan but aren't sure where to start? Download our free business plan template that's been updated for 2023.
This simple, modern, investor-approved business plan template is designed to make planning easy. It's a proven format that has helped over 1 million businesses write business plans for bank loans, funding pitches, business expansion, and even business sales. It includes additional instructions for how to write each section and is formatted to be SBA-lender approved. All you need to do is fill in the blanks.
How to use an example business plan to help you write your own
How do you know what elements need to be included in your business plan, especially if you've never written one before? Looking at examples can help you visualize what a full, traditional plan looks like, so you know what you're aiming for before you get started. Here's how to get the most out of a sample business plan.
Choose a business plan example from a similar type of company
You don't need to find an example business plan that's an exact fit for your business. Your business location, target market, and even your particular product or service may not match up exactly with the plans in our gallery. But, you don't need an exact match for it to be helpful. Instead, look for a plan that's related to the type of business you're starting.
For example, if you want to start a vegetarian restaurant, a plan for a steakhouse can be a great match. While the specifics of your actual startup will differ, the elements you'd want to include in your restaurant's business plan are likely to be very similar.
Use a business plan example as a guide
Every startup and small business is unique, so you'll want to avoid copying an example business plan word for word. It just won't be as helpful, since each business is unique. You want your plan to be a useful tool for starting a business —and getting funding if you need it.
One of the key benefits of writing a business plan is simply going through the process. When you sit down to write, you'll naturally think through important pieces, like your startup costs, your target market , and any market analysis or research you'll need to do to be successful.
You'll also look at where you stand among your competition (and everyone has competition), and lay out your goals and the milestones you'll need to meet. Looking at an example business plan's financials section can be helpful because you can see what should be included, but take them with a grain of salt. Don't assume that financial projections for a sample company will fit your own small business.
If you're looking for more resources to help you get started, our business planning guide is a good place to start. You can also download our free business plan template , or get started right away with LivePlan .
Think of business planning as a process, instead of a document
Think about business planning as something you do often , rather than a document you create once and never look at again. If you take the time to write a plan that really fits your own company, it will be a better, more useful tool to grow your business. It should also make it easier to share your vision and strategy so everyone on your team is on the same page.
Adjust your plan regularly to use it as a business management tool
Keep in mind that businesses that use their plan as a management tool to help run their business grow 30 percent faster than those businesses that don't. For that to be true for your company, you'll think of a part of your business planning process as tracking your actual results against your financial forecast on a regular basis.
If things are going well, your plan will help you think about how you can re-invest in your business. If you find that you're not meeting goals, you might need to adjust your budgets or your sales forecast. Either way, tracking your progress compared to your plan can help you adjust quickly when you identify challenges and opportunities—it's one of the most powerful things you can do to grow your business.
Prepare to pitch your business
If you're planning to pitch your business to investors or seek out any funding, you'll need a pitch deck to accompany your business plan. A pitch deck is designed to inform people about your business. You want your pitch deck to be short and easy to follow, so it's best to keep your presentation under 20 slides.
Your pitch deck and pitch presentation are likely some of the first things that an investor will see to learn more about your company. So, you need to be informative and pique their interest. Luckily, just like you can leverage an example business plan template to write your plan, we also have a gallery of over 50 pitch decks for you to reference.
With this gallery, you have the option to view specific industry pitches or get inspired by real-world pitch deck examples. Or for a modern pitch solution that helps you create a business plan and pitch deck side-by-side, you may want to check out LivePlan . It will help you build everything needed for outside investment and to better manage your business.
Get LivePlan in your classroom
Are you an educator looking for real-world business plan examples for your students? With LivePlan, you give your students access to industry-best business plans and help them set goals and track metrics with spreadsheet-free financial forecasts. All of this within a single tool that includes additional instructional resources that work seamlessly alongside your current classroom setup.
With LivePlan, it's not just a classroom project. It's your students planning for their futures. Click here to learn more about business planning for students .
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How to Write a Business Plan For Investors (That They Will Love)
You want to write a great business plan that investors will love, but you have no idea how. luckily, the experts at bizplan have given us some great tips check out this in-depth, point-by-point breakdown of how to write an awesome business plan..
April 14th, 2022 | By: The Startups Team | Tags: Development , Pitching , Leadership , Growth , Product/MVP , Management , Team , Communication , Pitch Deck , Customers , Scaling , Planning
A good business plan does more than just inform readers about what your company does, how you earn money, or what you want to do. It persuades the reader that your company is awesome, gets them excited about the opportunity to get involved, and makes them want to help you succeed.
But how do you write a good business plan for investors? You probably didn’t go to business school and if you’re a first-time founder, it can be really hard to figure out how to do something so technical. But don’t worry! This guide will walk you through how to write a business plan for investors, will help you answer the most important questions about your business, and will show you the best ways to illustrate them. We’ve also thrown in some additional resources you can turn to for help.
And if that’s still not enough, Bizplan is giving Startups.com readers 50 percent off their first month of business planning services. Check it out here .
The Big Picture
There are 14 important sections of a business plan. But that is by no means an excuse to write out your entire life story on paper. The average business plan should be around 15 pages — no more than 20.
In the past, the average business plan was anywhere from 40 to 100 pages, and guess what they found out? No one was reading all of that. So don’t let important information about your company get lost in a jumble of words. Investors look for founders who can provide the most value in the least amount of time, and your business plan is a great indication of that ability.
The Big Questions
By the time readers are done reading your business plan, they should have a clear understanding of the following: Why (Why this? Why now? Why you? Why them?) and how (How will you make money? How will you get customers? How will you grow your business?).
These questions should be answered throughout your business plan, and should prove to those reading it that your company has the right product, market, team, time, and strategy to make them a return on their investment.
So without further adieu, here is a breakdown of writing a business plan for investors:
1. Executive Summary
The Executive Summary is an introduction to the main ideas that you will discuss in the rest of the plan. If an investor read only the Executive Summary and nothing else, you’d want them to be able to walk away with a clear understanding of the main highlights of your business and why it’s exciting.
A good Executive Summary includes quick, one to two sentence overviews of the following information: mission statement, product/service summary, market opportunity summary, traction summary, next steps, and vision statement.
Pro tip: Although the Executive Summary comes first, it is often helpful to write it last because you’ll have worked through everything by then.
2. Investment Opportunity
The Investment Opportunity section is where you tell investors what your goals are, why they are integral in helping you achieve those goals, and what they have to gain from getting involved with your company. This includes:
- Your Funding Goal : How much money do you need to move forward
- Terms : What will investors get in exchange for their investment?
- Use of Funds : How do you plan to use those funds? (Hint: a 6-figure salary for yourself isn’t what they’re looking for here)
- Milestones : What will you be able to achieve with their investment?
Again, the most important question to answer here is why: Why should investors want to be a part of your company, and why is now the time for them to get involved? Identify the three to four key factors that make your company a great opportunity and make sure they’re included in this section.
3. Team Overview
This is where you introduce your team and how you’ll work together to bring the business to life. An ideal Team Overview section makes the case not only that your team is the right team for the job, but that you’re the only team for the job.
In order to do this, you need to create a bio for each member of the team. Each team bio should include: the team member’s name; their title and position at the company; their professional background; any special skills they have developed as a result of their past experience; their role and responsibilities at your company; and what makes them uniquely qualified to take that role on.
Pro Tip: This is not the time or place for cheesy fun facts or hobbies. Aim for three to five concise sentences on each team member.
4. Market Opportunity
Before you do a deep dive into what your company does, it’s important to set the stage and provide readers with some insight about why you’re starting this company in the first place. A good market opportunity section addresses two key points: The problem that your product/service solves, and the industry trends that make now the time for your company to succeed.
When writing the “problem” part of this section, consider two questions: What problems do your target customers face that your product/service solves? What annoyances or inconveniences do they face that your company helps to eliminate?
When writing the “trends” section, consider these three questions: What recent emerging trends have you developed your product/service in response to? Are there any new or emerging technologies that make your product/solution possible? Are there any specific brands you can point to that illustrate the demand for products/services like (but not too like) yours?
And to sum it all up, write a conclusion that answer this question: How do the problems customers face and the trends that are happening come together to create the perfect environment for your company to succeed?
5. Company Synopsis
The company synopsis section is where you introduce readers to your company and what you have to offer. This is the easy part: It’s where you get to talk about what you’re doing and why it’s awesome.
Consider these questions if you’re having trouble getting started: What does your company do? How does it solve the problem you’ve previously outlined? What products and services do you offer? How will customers use your product/service? What are the key features? What makes your product/service different from anything currently available?
6. Revenue Model
This is where you answer the age-old question of any business: How does your company make money? Identify all current/initial revenue sources, including pricing, COGS, and margins.
Ask yourself: Why is this revenue model the right fit for your current stage? How does your pricing compare to competitors? Are there additional revenue sources you plan to add down the line? If you haven’t started generating revenue when & how will you “flip the switch”?
7. Traction/Company Milestones
It’s important for investors to see that your business is more than just an idea on a cocktail napkin; it’s an actual, viable business. Traction is a huge part of making that case.
Here are some key categories of traction that signal to readers that your company is making moves.
- Product Development : Where are you in the process? Is your product in the market?
- Manufacturing/Distribution: Do you have an established partner for production/manufacturing? Distribution?
- Early Customers and Revenue : Do you have existing customers? How many? And how fast are you growing? Have you started generating revenue?
- Testimonials and Social Proof : Do you have any positive client reviews of your product/service? Any high profile customers or industry experts?
- Partnerships : Have you secured partnerships with any established brands?
- Intellectual Property : Do you have any patents for the technology behind your company? Is your company name trademarked?
- Press Mentions : Has your company been featured by any media outlets? Which ones?
8. Industry Analysis
The industry analysis section provides a bird’s eye view of the industry your company is positioned in, what’s happening in the industry, and where your company stands in relation to your peers. You want readers to walk away from your business plan seeing not only that you’re an expert in your company but that you’re highly knowledgeable about the industry you’re entering into.
Be intentional about the statistics you include in the plan. Include only numbers that really help to illustrate: the size of the opportunity your company is positioned to address; the demand for your solution; the growth of the audience/demand for your product that is already happening; and competitor analysis.
Now that you’ve introduced readers to your industry, it’s time to give them a glimpse into the other companies that are working in the same space, and how your company stacks up. Identify at least three sources of competition for your company and answer the following questions about each one:
- Basic Info : Where are they based? What stage of growth are they in?
- Traction : How much revenue do they generate? How many customers do they have? Have they received funding?
- Similarities and Differences : What are their strengths? How do you plan to neutralize them? What are their weaknesses? How is that an advantage to you?
- The Takeaway : What can you learn from your competitors to make your company stronger?
Pro tip: When identifying competitors, it’s important to think outside the box, and look beyond companies that are offering the exact same product or service that you are. A skimpy competitor analysis section doesn’t tell investors that your solution is unrivaled — it tells them that you’re not looking hard enough.
9. Differentiating Factors
The differentiating factors section is where you outline how your product/service is different from others on the market and how those differences will help you to maintain your strategic edge. Ask yourself: What are three to five key differentiators between your company and other solutions out there? How will these advantages translate into a long-term advantage for your company?
10. Target Audience
The target audience section is where you show readers that you know who your audience is, where they are, and what is important to them.
Some questions to help you get started include: Who are the people that your product/service is designed to appeal to? What do you know about customers in this demographic? Does your target audience skew more male or more female? What age range do your target customers fall in? Around how many people are there in this target demographic? Where do your target customers live? How much money do they make? Do they have any particular priorities or concerns when it comes to the products/services they buy?
11. User Acquisition and Marketing Strategy
Now that we know who your customers are, the next question is: How do you plan on getting them?
Ask yourself: How will you get your first customers? Who will you target first? Will you introduce your product in certain key geographic locations? Are there any existing brands that you are planning to partner with? How do you plan to raise awareness for your brand? What forms of media will you use? Why? Do you have a presence on social media? Which platforms do you use and why? Essentially, what is your marketing strategy ?
12. Future Growth and Development
Once you’ve accomplished all the short-term goals, built out your initial product offering, and acquired your first customers — what will you do to grow your business from there?
Ask yourself: Do you have any new products in the pipeline? How will these new products enhance your current offerings? Are you planning to expand into new markets (new cities, new demographic categories)? Can you provide a timeline of when you expect each new development to take place? What metrics or conditions will help you to decide when it’s time to move forward? What are some potential exit strategies for your company down the road? Will you seek acquisition by a larger company? Do you plan to take the company public with an Initial Public Offering?
13. Financial Overview
Financial data is always at the end of the business plan, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important. In fact, poor financials can rip apart anything you initially had going for you. The charts, tables, and formulas in your financial section show an investor how well you’re doing and what your odds are for continued survival.
The three most important things to include are: cash flow statement, income statement, and your balance sheet. While these three things are related, they measure quite different aspects of a company’s financial health.
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There you have it: A comprehensive guide to writing your next business plan for investors. Sound like a big undertaking? Our friends at Bizplan.com have your back. Click here for a Startups.co exclusive discount on their services. Good luck!
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What to include in your investor business plan. Executive Summary. Usually written last, your executive summary is an overview of your business. As I mentioned earlier, you might use the executive ... Opportunity. Market Analysis. Marketing & Sales Plan. Milestones / Roadmap.
Read our simple guide to learn how to write a business plan quickly and easily. A solid business plan is essential for any new business.
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Executive summary. Briefly tell your reader what your company is and why it will be successful. Include your mission statement, your product or service, and basic information about your company’s leadership team, employees, and location. You should also include financial information and high-level growth plans if you plan to ask for financing.