Openfund business plan template (pre seed)
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  • 1. BUSINESS PLAN TEMPLATE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Aim: To be brief and substantial, capturing the reader’s attention to encourage further study. The summary must stand as a self-contained document. Tip: Write the Executive Summary twice, once when you start and once when you finish authoring the business plan. Contents: Readable & easily comprehensible - Write in a language easy for everyone to understand Short - Should not exceed a single page Inclusive - 3 to 4 small paragraphs, addressing each one of the points below: i) The concept, its unique vision and market opportunity ii) The team and its appropriateness for the tasks ahead iii) The product, its innovation and business model iv) Short-term goals and their implementation plan
  • 2. CONTENTS Executive Summary ....................................................................................................................................1 Contents......................................................................................................................................................2 Concept ......................................................................................................................................................3 Team ...........................................................................................................................................................3 Product ......................................................................................................................................................4 Market ........................................................................................................................................................5 Competition ...............................................................................................................................................6 Business Model ..........................................................................................................................................7 Schedule .....................................................................................................................................................7 Funding & Revenues ..................................................................................................................................8 Appendices ................................................................................................................................................9
  • 3. CONCEPT Aim: To clearly describe the ideas and context behind the product you create and the problem you are trying to solve, also to articulate your mission and vision. Tip: Everyone should be able to fully understand what you are up to when finished reading this section. Contents: Skip any details or technicalities in this section, just present all required information to make the big picture crystal clear. What you describe should be feasible for a small team to deliver in a relatively short period of time. i) Start with describing the problem you are trying to address and why it matters, in detail. ii) Continue with the existing solutions in the market, and their limitations. iii) Then, describe your innovation and the working solution you bring on the table. iv) Also, provide some evidence why it makes sense for all participating parties and is solid from a business perspective. TEAM Aim: To illustrate your ability to complete the mission described before, also why you are the most suited team to bring this vision into reality. Tip: It is more important to showcase your commitment and domain knowledge in the tasks that you are up to, rather than any superior excellence. Contents: Introduce the team’s members and get your reader to know a little more about each one of you.
  • 4. Next to the members’ bio, try to present the team’s story as a whole. Coherency and complementarity are strong assets. Also, describe your team’s relation to the idea, the domain you are focusing on and your commitment to get it done. Fully detailed CVs should be attached in the Appendix. i) Tell the whole story of each one of the team members, describe their background, experience and competences. ii) Proceed to tell the team’s story, how and why you set it up like this, or things you did together in the past. iii) Describe each member’s role in the company, who does what and why she is the right person to do that. Also, if each one of the founders has joined full time, or when she plans to do so. iv) Finally, describe the skills you’re missing as a team, and how you plan to address such weaknesses. PRODUCT Aim: Describe your product in full detail. Tip: Skip any mention to your schedule or competition, but here’s where you need to turn the concept into executable product specifications. Contents: Extensive - This section may be as long as needed, including details of every aspect of your product. Diverse - You may use various means to describe it, screenshots or mockups are appropriate among others. Honest - It’s better to report some grey areas to be finalized later on, that omitting them at all; make clear that you are aware of the problems ahead.
  • 5. Realistic - What you define here is what you will be requested to deliver, so be rational and reasonable on your specifications and expectations. i) Take your reader for a thorough tour through your product, both from an end-user and a technical perspective. ii) Describe the potential applications and usage, next to the unique value proposition for your consumers. iii) Highlight your innovations, how you will sustain your edge and why your product matters. MARKET Aim: To make clear there is a big enough, potentially highly profitable market and at the same time a specific focus for your product. Also, to understand the drivers of various market players and how the product serves each. Tip: Please avoid arguments like ‘we target at the 0.001% of a multi-billion industry’. You’d better cautiously select your market niche and describe your approach to grow as a significant player out of it. Contents: It is not mandatory to present every information bit requested below. However, you need to illustrate your target market and make clear that your selection makes sense. References for the numbers and facts that you report improve credibility. i) Market & segments – The size (in euros and units) of the market in which your product will compete, also market trends. Break down of the total market in segments and the factors that define them. ii) Addressable market – Describe the specific market segment you target at. Number of customers, annual revenues and growth rate, geographical coverage, profit margins, product life cycle stage, barriers to entry and underserved needs among others might be of interest.
  • 6. iii) Target customer – Customer (or also provider) profile may provide information on the characteristics, needs and interests of each category of players participating in the market. COMPETITION Aim: Proceed to describe the market gap you fill and why this is poorly served by competition, eventually suggesting why it makes sense to pursue your endeavor. Tip: The more details you provide on your competition, the better you justify your innovation and unique value proposition. Provide solid reasons why customers will switch towards your offering. Contents: A detailed comparison with existing competitive products/services (both local and international) is necessary. Competition is held at three levels, direct, indirect and obtuse. Refer to all, with a decreasing level of detail. i) For each direct competitor, present information about their entity, the market segments they are active in, their product/services and business model. Mention the maturity and type of their business, their market position (leader, large, niche, small), also if possible their revenues and profitability. ii) Refer in brief to your indirect competitors’ companies and products, also define the reasons they are pulling away customers from your obtuse competition. iii) Summarize the details of all competitive products versus yours, for example in a competitive matrix where rows are products and columns are features. Highlight your differentiation features, which should also justify switching costs. iv) Finally, you may also classify all aspects of your product and team with regard to your competitors on the basis of a simple SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) matrix.
  • 7. BUSINESS MODEL Aim: You have already described your target user and how you address her needs. Now shape out how she will pay you back. Tip: As with the rest of the plan, the revenue model may evolve over time. However, you need to showcase your clear strategy on how to make money and become sustainable. Contents: If you have a marketing background, you may recall this section as the marketing plan. Try to keep your business model as straightforward as possible. It is highly recommended to select a business model that brings you revenues from early on. i) Define the business model - Which users will pay and what they will pay for, at which stage of the product. ii) Define the pricing policy - How much will the product cost for the various kinds of users. Price should be a subset of the perceived value you create for users. iii) Define the approach to business development - How will you get your first customers and how you will scale processes up. Keep in mind the 1-10-100 rule of thumb (you reach 100, you pitch to 10, you get 1). Also, promotion and sales strategy, next to potential exit opportunities. SCHEDULE Aim: Present a concise plan for the product’s implementation with key dates, actions and deadlines. Tip: A Gannt chart might be appropriate. Describe a schedule which is feasible for a small team to deliver in a short period of time. You will be judged based on its implementation later on. Contents: All goals should be measurable and quantified.
  • 8. Prototype availability or initial product launch should take place during the first 4-6 months. i) Description of the short and medium term goals for the company, what you want to achieve and when. ii) Milestones should refer to both product development and business development. Design, production, testing and launch may be included in product development milestones. User acquisition and revenues or similar metrics may be included in business development. iii) Risk factors for the implementation of the schedule should be highlighted and mitigating actions should be prescribed. FUNDING & REVENUES Aim: Describe in detail the flows of required funding & projected revenues, next to financial forecasts based on realistic assumptions. Tip: Forecasts and projections are by definition wrong. Your task is to make the smallest error possible, and deploy reasonable forecasts, setting up the targets you will deliver against. Contents: Forecasts must be precise numerical scenarios for the future, setting specific targets to track your progress. You might set up three scenarios (best, base and worst) instead of one, but keep in mind that things should work out for the worst one as well. Provide data for the following time frames: First year on a monthly basis, second and third years on a quarterly basis. Also, describe your core assumptions. Graphs make reading this section easier, you may put more detailed tables in the Appendix. i) Define and describe your initial set-up budget (cost to open) and burn rate (maintenance cost) for the first year (staff expenses, rent, legal and other professional fees, promotion and marketing, other). Pre-seed funding should be enough to reach initial product launch and required feedback towards product-market fit, tasks that should take place within the first months. Then, deploy your projections for the next two years.
  • 9. ii) Given your revenue model and cost curves, set up reasonable sales forecasts to estimate when you will break even. Also, define the number of users that you need to achieve these targets and estimate when the company will require further funding. APPENDICES Resumes of all founders References on sources used Implementation schedule & milestones tables Cost & revenue tables Equity breakdown Description of IP (if existing) Letters of intent (if available)
  • 10. ii) Given your revenue model and cost curves, set up reasonable sales forecasts to estimate when you will break even. Also, define the number of users that you need to achieve these targets and estimate when the company will require further funding. APPENDICES Resumes of all founders References on sources used Implementation schedule & milestones tables Cost & revenue tables Equity breakdown Description of IP (if existing) Letters of intent (if available)