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How to write a business plan

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Tips on writing a business plan from an investor's perspective.

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https://flevy.com/browse/business-document/developing-and-presenting-your-business-plan-148

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How to write a business plan

  1. 1. Components Of A Marketable Business Plan The Investor’s Perspective By Tony Osime
  2. 2. Topics <ul><li>Ice Breaker </li></ul><ul><li>What is a business plan? </li></ul><ul><li>Structure </li></ul><ul><li>Writing tips </li></ul><ul><li>Design tips </li></ul><ul><li>The Investor </li></ul>
  3. 3. Ice Breaker
  4. 4. Standing Out From The Crowd How many business plans are circulating right now? How will yours stand out?
  5. 5. Model on Success Look for a business plan in your industry that was successful– Use that as your benchmark
  6. 6. What is a Business Plan? Purpose <ul><li>Clarify Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Raise Financing </li></ul><ul><li>Attract Collaboration </li></ul>Focus on your purpose Content & style will differ
  7. 7. What is a Business Plan? Form <ul><li>Document </li></ul><ul><li>Sample </li></ul><ul><li>Slides </li></ul><ul><li>Film </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstration </li></ul>Use different forms for best effect
  8. 8. Key Drivers What are the key success factors? Top 5 Only Use the perspective of each stakeholder What is most important to them Make sure your plan focuses on these drivers
  9. 9. Structure <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Table of contents </li></ul><ul><li>Fact Sheet </li></ul><ul><li>Executive Summary </li></ul><ul><li>Business Concept </li></ul><ul><li>Market </li></ul><ul><li>Operations </li></ul><ul><li>Financials </li></ul><ul><li>Organization </li></ul><ul><li>*Legal </li></ul><ul><li>SWOT </li></ul><ul><li>Appendix </li></ul>Thousands of structures on the internet i.e. www.deloitte.com * Added
  10. 10. Structure… <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is this document? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who is it for? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why should they read it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who wrote it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When was it written? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What should be done with it after reading? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Confidential? </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Structure… List the contents and the respective page numbers Topic 1……………. 4 Topic 2……………. 7 Topic 3…………….12 Topic 4…………….15 Topic 5…………….16 Topic 6……...……..24 Table Of Contents
  12. 12. Structure… <ul><li>Fact Sheet (A list of key facts) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Name of company </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legal structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Location </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Size </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Investment amount </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Return on investment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promoter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Auditor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Etc. </li></ul></ul>A table One line per fact Only important facts Can be long > 50 35% ROI N3m Investment N2m Size Lagos Location Ltd Legal form XYZ Name
  13. 13. Structure… <ul><li>Executive Summary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Summary of each section of the plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brief – 1-2 pages </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Structure… <ul><li>Business Concept </li></ul><ul><ul><li>USP – Unique Selling Proposition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Basic idea of the business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What makes this project different </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What opportunities are captured </li></ul></ul>Vision Mission Objectives
  15. 15. Structure… <ul><li>Market </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Customers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Competition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distribution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promotion </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Structure… <ul><li>Operations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Production process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Input </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Process </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Output </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Special Technology </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Structure… <ul><li>Financials (5 years?) (Historic + Projected) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Income statement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Balance Sheet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cash Flow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ratios </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Structure… <ul><li>Organization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ownership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Directors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Key staff (Do a chart) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Position </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Experience </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Past Success </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Future Potential </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Structure… <ul><li>Legal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Agreements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Certification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Licenses </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Government </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Policies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regulations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Compliance </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Structure… <ul><li>SWOT </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strengths </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weaknesses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Threats </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Structure… <ul><li>Appendix </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Diagrams </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pictures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Charts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research papers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Etc. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Writing Tips - Clarity What do you understand by clarity? <ul><li>Easy to understand </li></ul><ul><li>One meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Obtained quickly </li></ul>
  23. 23. Writing Tips - Concise What do you understand by conciseness? <ul><li>Using the minimum number of words </li></ul><ul><li>Not just short </li></ul><ul><li>But efficient (ideas/words) </li></ul>
  24. 24. Writing Tips - Organization What do you understand by well organized? <ul><li>Clear purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Only relevant facts & ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Coherent grouping of content </li></ul><ul><li>Minimal repetition </li></ul>
  25. 25. Writing Tips - Layout What do you understand by well laid out? <ul><li>Attractive </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to understand </li></ul><ul><li>Good use of graphics </li></ul>
  26. 26. Writing Tips - Natural What do you understand by natural? Simple shorter words arranged in a conversational way
  27. 27. Writing Tip - Positive What do you understand by being positive? Only using words which make the reader feel good – or at least feel neutral Negative Neutral Positive
  28. 28. Writing Tips - Relevance Why should we provide all relevant facts - not just those suitable for your purpose? <ul><li>Helps the reader make the best decision </li></ul><ul><li>Improves our good will </li></ul>
  29. 29. Writing Tips - Interpret Why should we interpret the facts for our readers? <ul><li>Helps the reader make the best decision </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrates our knowledge and skill </li></ul>
  30. 30. Writing Tips - Conclusions What happens when we jump to conclusions? What is jumping to conclusions? Making statements not supported by facts Could loose good will
  31. 31. Writing Tips – Both Sides Why should we provide both the pros and the cons of each option? <ul><li>Helps the reader make the best decision </li></ul><ul><li>Improves our good will </li></ul>
  32. 32. Writing Tips – Facts v Opinions What is the difference between a fact and an opinion? Why should we differentiate between a fact and an opinion? <ul><li>Facts are objective & supported by reality </li></ul><ul><li>People may interpret our opinions as facts </li></ul>
  33. 33. Writing Tips – Sources of information Why should we state our sources of information? <ul><li>Shows our objectivity </li></ul><ul><li>Shows the quality of our information </li></ul>
  34. 34. Writing Tips - Sentences Word Choice Sentence Length What is a good length for a sentence? Maximum 15 – 20 words Depending on the number of syllables. “ Keep sentences simple – one idea per sentence”
  35. 35. Writing Tips - Style What do you understand by write the way you speak? Write what you would say to your reader if they were in front of you. Use this as your first draft Write the way you speak! Style & Tone Write the way you speak
  36. 36. Design Tips Bind Neatly
  37. 37. Design Tips Use lots of pictures & diagrams
  38. 38. Design Tips Use lots of white space
  39. 39. Business Plan Tips <ul><li>Have it professionally re– written </li></ul><ul><li>Do not copy another plan </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure it is perfect </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No typos </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No spelling errors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No grammatical errors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No stains </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Have it proof read 5+ times by 5+ people </li></ul>
  40. 40. The Investor’s Perspective Why Should I give you my money?
  41. 41. The Promoter’s Perspective Why Should I give you my money? Because I have a great idea? Because I am a nice person? Because I am honest? Because I work hard?
  42. 42. The Investor’s Perspective Because I will grow your money Why Should I give you my money?
  43. 43. The Investor’s perspective How do I know you will grow my money? Because I have a great idea? Because I am a nice person? Because I am honest? Because I work hard?
  44. 44. The Investor’s perspective Because I have done it before! Directly or indirectly How do I know you will grow my money?
  45. 45. The Promoter’s Perspective Only when I cannot show past success do I rely on the usual arguments… Because I have a great idea? Because I am a nice person? Because I am honest? Because I work hard?
  46. 46. Success Stepping Stones Remember your past successes These are your stepping stones…
  47. 47. Good Luck! The End

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