Developing & Presenting Your Business Plan

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Developing and presenting a business plan is something most of us will do at some point in our business life. If you are good at doing it you are more likely to be successful at raising finance.

This is an easy to follow guide that will give you the right attitude and approach to developing and presenting your business plan.

As the former CEO of a small venture capital company, I have read and watched hundreds of business plans being presented. The tips I give you here are the tips I wished many of the entrepreneurs presenting their plans had been given before they started preparing their plans. These tips are drawn from a presentation I gave to entrepreneurs who were on an entrepreneurship training course.

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Developing & Presenting Your Business Plan

  1. 1. 1 Good Afternoon. I’d like to start by asking a question. How many of us have a live business plan – one that is current and waiting for funding? Good! How many of have written a business plan? Good! How many of us have read a business plan? Good! This afternoon I would like to take us through developing and presenting a business plan. Developing and presenting a business plan is something most of us will do at some point in our business life. If you are good at doing it you are more likely to be successful at raising finance. The more successful you are at raising finance, the more businesses you will own. The more businesses you will own…the richer you will become. The richer you will become…? Do I see dreams materializing? Well I hope so! Whatever it is you are dreaming about – this is where it starts.. your own, (gesture at individual participants) personal, individual, special, exciting, exceptional, magnificent, revolutionary BUSINESS PLAN! Are we ready for success? – Let’s go!
  2. 2. 4 We will start with an ice breaker – a little exercise to get us in the right mood. We will then talk about business plans to get a better feel for what they are. We will talk about how to structure a business plan. We will look at a general structure you can apply to your own plan. We will then look at how to write a good plan – we will go through some tips. First some writing tips, then some design tips. Then we move onto the second part of the session which will cover how to deliver your plan to an audience – typically a group of investors. Any questions? Is there any topic you would like us to cover that is not on this list? Is there anything you think might not be so important? If we are all happy – lets begin. This document is a partial preview. Full document download can be found on Flevy: http://flevy.com/browse/document/developing-and-presenting-your-business-plan-148
  3. 3. how well they handle challenges] Who first found out what your partner wanted before toasting them? [Hardly anyone, it is unnatural, especially for a confident entrepreneur] How successful was this approach? How does it compare with other approaches? [In the end a new joint future perspective is the best approach] 6 This document is a partial preview. Full document download can be found on Flevy: http://flevy.com/browse/document/developing-and-presenting-your-business-plan-148
  4. 4. 9 OK. Lets deepen our understanding of a business plan. If we better understand a business plan we can better write one. Why do we write business plans? Clarify Strategy – What do you understand by this? Raise financing – what do you understand by this? Attract collaboration – what do you understand by this? How will your plan differ if it’s purpose differs between these options? How will a plan designed to clarify strategy differ from one designed to raise financing or one designed to attract collaboration? The key point in all this is FOCUS ON YOUR PURPOSE. Don’t write a general plan for all purposes. Tailor your plan to your purpose and even tailor your plan to your audience. This document is a partial preview. Full document download can be found on Flevy: http://flevy.com/browse/document/developing-and-presenting-your-business-plan-148
  5. 5. 11 When we think business plan what do we normally think about? A document. A business plan can extend beyond this. One way to be different is to extend the scope of what we can include as part of our business plan. What do we mean by a sample? – give an example What we mean by slides? – Give an example What do we mean by a film? – Give an example What do we mean by a demonstration? – Give an example When you are planning your business plan – try and include as many forms as you can to give your audience a better feel for your concept. Exercise: Pair up and discuss unusual ways you can represent your product or service to prospective investors. Give them 5 minutes. Does anyone have a very unusual way to present a product or service? Take some examples and point out the creativity and benefit of that approach. This document is a partial preview. Full document download can be found on Flevy: http://flevy.com/browse/document/developing-and-presenting-your-business-plan-148
  6. 6. 14 What do think is the one thing that most often separates a great business plan from a good one? Note that I did not say what separates a good business plan from a bad one – there are many things. How does a good plan become a great one? It clearly identifies what is MOST important. It clearly identifies what is most important for this business. Why must we do this? What is the financier trying to do when they read your business plan? They are trying to decipher what is most important. They are also trying to see if YOU know what is key for this business. So, how do you identify the key drivers? One approach is to list all the stakeholders of a business and for each one list the one or two most important things for this business, from their perspective. When you have this list arrange them in order of importance. Take the top 3 to 5 items and make sure each of these items is addressed specially in your business plan. I would even go further and state them as the key drivers of your business. Show how your business uniquely (or at least better than others), solves a problem or meets a requirement of a stakeholder. This document is a partial preview. Full document download can be found on Flevy: http://flevy.com/browse/document/developing-and-presenting-your-business-plan-148
  7. 7. 17 The key point here is that it should be simple. Do not use the introduction to summarize the business plan. Simply tell the reader what to expect. This document is a partial preview. Full document download can be found on Flevy: http://flevy.com/browse/document/developing-and-presenting-your-business-plan-148
  8. 8. 20 Who knows what it is like being a busy executive? Let’s find out – can I have a volunteer? Mimic interruptions to a busy executive’s attempt to read a business plan. Why does this executive need an executive summary? This document is a partial preview. Full document download can be found on Flevy: http://flevy.com/browse/document/developing-and-presenting-your-business-plan-148
  9. 9. 23 Describe how you will produce your products or services. Try to keep it well structured – for instance you can follow the production process step by step. Indicate any special technology you will use. This document is a partial preview. Full document download can be found on Flevy: http://flevy.com/browse/document/developing-and-presenting-your-business-plan-148
  10. 10. 26 It helps to state strengths and weaknesses as applying internally and opportunities and threats as applying externally. This document is a partial preview. Full document download can be found on Flevy: http://flevy.com/browse/document/developing-and-presenting-your-business-plan-148
  11. 11. 29 This document is a partial preview. Full document download can be found on Flevy: http://flevy.com/browse/document/developing-and-presenting-your-business-plan-148
  12. 12. 32 This document is a partial preview. Full document download can be found on Flevy: http://flevy.com/browse/document/developing-and-presenting-your-business-plan-148
  13. 13. 35 This document is a partial preview. Full document download can be found on Flevy: http://flevy.com/browse/document/developing-and-presenting-your-business-plan-148
  14. 14. 38 This document is a partial preview. Full document download can be found on Flevy: http://flevy.com/browse/document/developing-and-presenting-your-business-plan-148
  15. 15. 41 This document is a partial preview. Full document download can be found on Flevy: http://flevy.com/browse/document/developing-and-presenting-your-business-plan-148
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  22. 22. 62 This document is a partial preview. Full document download can be found on Flevy: http://flevy.com/browse/document/developing-and-presenting-your-business-plan-148
  23. 23. 65 This document is a partial preview. Full document download can be found on Flevy: http://flevy.com/browse/document/developing-and-presenting-your-business-plan-148
  24. 24. 1 Flevy (www.flevy.com) is the marketplace for premium documents. These documents can range from Business Frameworks to Financial Models to PowerPoint Templates. Flevy was founded under the principle that companies waste a lot of time and money recreating the same foundational business documents. Our vision is for Flevy to become a comprehensive knowledge base of business documents. All organizations, from startups to large enterprises, can use Flevy— whether it's to jumpstart projects, to find reference or comparison materials, or just to learn. Contact Us Please contact us with any questions you may have about our company. • General Inquiries support@flevy.com • Media/PR press@flevy.com • Billing billing@flevy.com

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