Even if you’re the most self-sufficient entrepreneur in the world, the chances are that at some point you will have to generate investment for a new venture or startup. Many people think that all they need is a good idea, and investors will be lining up to throw money at them. However, the truth is, that walking into any investment meeting without a business plan will make you look like an amateur. But what will make your business plan stand out from the rest? We asked Justin Cobb what some of the requirements for a good business plan would be.
Somewhere in your business plan, you need to define what the problem is you’re solving, and how you are solving it. In point of fact, this is probably the one statement that will define your business plan and inspire further reading. The shorter and easier it is to understand, the more chance that someone will want to hear the rest.
For example, “Transferring video content from cameras is a long and complex process” is a problem. “Our software automatically identifies content from any camera, and converts and ingests it” is a solution. Now you have two sentences that describe the need for your business, and the way in which you meet that need.
Just telling someone that people will be super excited about your product, doesn’t work as well as it does in the movies. You need some concrete data about the market you’re expecting to operate in. Avoid jargon, and simply explain in basic terms what competitors exist, and what market research you’ve done, with relevant data referenced.
When you’re deep in the figures and projections, and explaining why this business will be a success, don’t forget to explain why you are the person to do it. People don’t just invest in businesses, they invest in people. Cover your experience and skills, and what you bring to the table, so investors know their money will be in good hands.