Creating a business can be confusing and there’s heaps of information to think about.
That’s where a business plan comes into the picture.
Long gone are the days where you need a 100-page plan that takes months to create.
Nowadays businesses launch in less than a week. Naturally, business plans have shortened up, as well.
This helps you remain on track to achieving goals, growing fast, and avoiding obstacles.
It’s also crucial if you want to show investors what you plan to do with the business before receiving capital.
That’s why we are going to be showing you how to create a lean startup business plan to launch faster.
Create an executive overview
Think of an executive overview like a birdseye view of your business. It covers all of the major aspects like what you’re selling, who it’s for, pricing, etc.
This gives both you, team members, and potential investors a quick summary of what to expect in the rest of the business plan. It’s also great to reference as you’re growing the startup to keep on track in terms of mission statements.
Think of the executive summary as a standalone document. It summarizes everything anyone needs to understand about your startup. It should be clear and concise. No fluff or jargon. Cover the highlights of the business and keep it one to pages maximum.
In particular, include these components in the summary:
- The product
- The problem you’re solving
- The target market
- Expected revenue, milestones, and growth numbers
- Who the competition is and how you will be better.
- Who is running the company and their expertise.
- Funding requirements if you’re asking for a loan or venture capital.
Who’s your team?
Next, you should thoroughly detail the people founding the company, their roles, and what their background consists of. Remember, this is important for any investors or partners as they want to see the board is composed of experienced entrepreneurs.
As they say, you don’t invest in ideas, you invest in people. Include biographies of each key member that highlights relevant skills, experience, and achievements. Don’t be too quick to describe every member as a c-suite executive, either. These include CEO, CMO, CFO, COO, and so forth.
Rather, be humble. If you have vice presidents, directors, managers, and similar positions, include those. It displays that you’re versatile and honest.
What’s your product?
After the executive summary and team overview are written, it’s now time to introduce the product. Begin by briefly explaining what the product or service is and its purpose.
Then, begin to elaborate. Touch on all of the product features like sizing, dimensions, capabilities, colours, etc. It’s also critical to explain all of the product benefits, too. These are the emotional, physical, or financial outcomes the product generates. It’s what the consumers are truly interested in and shows that you’ve performed great due diligence.
There’s another key component in this section: the value proposition. What makes your product unique? Different? One of a kind? Make this clearly known in the business plan or else your product simply blends into the market and doesn’t make a dent.
You will also need to talk about who your startup’s main competitors are. What do they do? How big are they? How can you do better?
How will you market it?
Naturally, your product needs to get in front of people. This is the part of the business plan where you will discuss marketing and advertising strategies. Go in-depth. Talk numbers. You want to show investors how you plan to your startup’s product seen by the right audience.
Here are some ideas:
- Social media
- Paid ads (Facebook, Google, etc.)
- Influencer marketing and partnerships
Additionally, provide as much insight into how you plan to use each channel. For example, talk about the content you will publish, funnels you’ll build, or automation you plan to use.
Who’s your target audience?
You can’t sell to everyone. You need to target your “1,000 true fans” as a Seth Godin would say. This is a small segment that’s excited about what you do and offer. They become brand ambassadors. On the contrary, according to one study, 29% of businesses target the wrong audience.
That’s why the next part of your startup business plan should detail who you’re targeting. Begin with demographics. These include age, income, location, and education. Psychographics, on the other hand, are the customer’s values and interests.
How are you handling finances?
Finance and accounting isn’t everyone’s strong point. However, it’s needed when planning a startup. You will want to map out everything about financing, such as expenses, assets, liabilities, and payroll. After all, if you know your numbers, you know your business.
Before you launch the next Facebook or Uber, slow down. Write a business plan first.
Start with the executive summary which briefly describes the company, its product, team, and vision.
Then, move onto the tema running the company. Who are they? What is their experience? Use convenient biographies to sum this up.
Talk about the product and how you will get it to market next. Include the features, benefits, price, and all of the strategies used to get it in front of the right audience.
That brings me to the next point: studying and detailing target customers. Clearly spell out their demographics and psychographics in the business plan.
Lastly, forecast assets, liabilities, expenses, revenue, and all of the crucial finances that make up a business.
Following all of this advice will help you create a bulletproof business plan!
Bio: Carmine Mastropierro is a freelance writer who has written for Neil Patel, GoDaddy, Marketo, and other publications.