Business Plan

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This presentation describes the structure of a business plan and the contents to put in each section.

This presentation describes the structure of a business plan and the contents to put in each section.

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  • 1. Business Plan for VC Funding
  • 2. Purpose of a Business Plan
    • Provides clarity of thought and purpose
    • Introduces Business Model
    • Introduces the company and the team
    • Attempts to persuade investors
    • Highlights risks and challenges
    • Serves as an entry point for further discussions
  • 3. Target Group - VC
    • VC firms see many plans
    • Usually smart and knowledgeable
    • Referrals – very critical
    • VC’s objective to assess quantum, type, and manageability of risks
    • Hence, business plan is an important document though not the “be-all, end-all”
  • 4. Key elements of a plan
    • Explain business model in simple terms
    • Fit the plan to the company
    • Be credible and informative
    • Do your homework; Know your market and competitors
    • Highlight Risks and steps to overcome the risks
    • Execution Risk as critical as market or technology risk
  • 5. Business Plan Contents
    • Executive Summary
    • Company Description
    • Product/Service
    • Market Analysis
    • Marketing Plan
    • Operations Plan
    • Financial Plan
    • Management Team
    • Exit Strategy
    • Risks
  • 6. Executive Summary
    • The most important section of the plan, often the only read section!
    • Compact version of the big plan
    • Stick to hard facts; no room for exaggerated optimism
    • Limit to a concise summary; no more than a couple of pages
    • Summary is the prelude to further meetings
  • 7. Executive Summary (2)
    • Summary should answer questions:
      • What sort of company is it?
      • What’s the product/service and what’s special?
      • Who are the managers?
      • How much money do you need? In what stages? What will it be used for?
  • 8. The Company Description
    • A brief history of the company
    • How you started? What was the original idea?
    • Share your mistakes and what you learnt; adds credibility
    • Share financials; actual vs. planned; if applicable
    • Should lead up to the discussion as to where you intend to go from here
  • 9. Product/Service
    • What is your value proposition?
    • How are you going to solve their problem better than your competitor? Than what they are doing now?
    • Any patent protection possible?
    • Technology details: defensible? Unique? Sustainable competitiveness?
    • Time to market? Ability to execute?
    • What prevents someone else from doing it more cheaply?
  • 10. Market Analysis
    • Who is your target market?
    • Profile of the people? What is their behavior pattern?
    • Any complementary products or services?
    • How large is your market? Growth rates?
    • What are the trends in the market?
    • How do you see the market evolving?
  • 11. Marketing Plan
    • Detailed note on how you will convert large market into revenue
    • Provide different marketing tactics – cheapest to most expensive
    • Costs and strategy of acquiring customers
    • Sales and Marketing strategies
    • Respect your competitors
    • Risks and Unknowns
    • Strategies for reducing risks
  • 12. Operations Plan
    • The nuts and bolts – how will you make it? How will it be available to your customers?
    • What’s involved in running the company?
    • Location, equipment needs
    • Labor requirements
    • Risks at different levels and how best to mitigate risks
  • 13. Management Team
    • Provide CVs of the key members
    • Relevance of past experience
    • Start-up experience
    • Market creation experience
    • Team dynamics – very critical when more than one founder
    • Clarity of roles
    • GREAT TEAM + MEDIOCRE PLAN >
    • MEDIOCRE TEAM + GREAT IDEA
  • 14. Financial Plan
    • Detailed numbers not the key
    • Assumptions very critical
    • Key drivers of revenue
    • Realistic projections
    • Exercise prudence
    • Benchmark your model
    • Revenue estimate: bottoms-up
    • Expenses – past and/or industry average
  • 15. Funding
    • Capital – internet time delivery
    • Brand building
    • Scaling the business
    • Funding based on 18 – 24 months projections? Till customer traction?
    • Choose funding partner with care – it’s a marriage!
  • 16. Exit Strategy
    • Exit strategy for the investor; not necessarily the entrepreneur
    • Exit could be merger, acquisition, or IPO
    • Each strategy should be plausible and defensible
  • 17. Venture Funds Today
    • Early stage investing: Only in Technology Product companies with strong background of entrepreneurs
    • Mid-Late stage investing: More the norm, also more common for service companies
    • Many Indo-US companies getting funded; even by Indian VCs