Learn how to draw up a business plan for your business from America’s best business coach, Clay Clark. You’ll learn the how, the why and the when.
“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” – Napoleon Hill
“First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.” – Napoleon Hill
“Our favorite deck template comes from David Cowan at Bessemer Venture Partners. You can find other templates, but this is the best.” – Naval Ravikant – I am an entrepreneur and angel investor, a co-author of Venture Hacks, and a co-maintainer of AngelList. Previously I was a co-founder at Genoa Corp (acquired by Finisar), Epinions.com (IPO via Shopping.com), and Vast.com (largest white-label classifieds marketplace). I’ve also advised Bix.com, iPivot, and XFire, among others, and invested in many companies, including Twitter, FourSquare, DocVerse (sold to Google), Mixer Labs (sold to Twitter), Jambool (sold to Google), SnapLogic, PlanCast, Stack Overflow, Heyzap, and Disqus.
1. Cover. Include your logo, tagline, and complete contact information.
2. Summary. Summarize the key, compelling facts of the company. Make sure you cover all the topics that are in your elevator pitch — in fact, just steal the content from the elevator pitch.
3. Team. Highlight the past accomplishments of the team. If your team has been successful before, investors may believe it can be successful again. Include directors or advisors who bring something special to the company. Don’t include positions you intend to fill — save that for the milestones slide. Put yourself last: it seems humble and lets you tell a story about how your career has led to the discovery of the… DECKS 55 =
4. Problem. Describe the customer, market, and problem you address, without getting into your product. Emphasize the pain level and the inability of competitors to satisfy the need.
5. Solution. Introduce your product and its benefits and describe how it addresses the problem you just described. Include a demo such as a screencast, a link to working software, or pictures. God help you if you have nothing to show.
6. Technology. Describe the technology behind your solution. Focus on how the technology enables the differentiated aspects of your solution. If appropriate, mention patent status.
7. Marketing. Who are the customers? How big is the market? You summarized this in your Problem slide and this is your opportunity to elaborate. How are you going to acquire customers? What customers have you already acquired?
8. Sales. What’s your business model? If you have sales, discuss the sales you’ve made and your pipeline. What are the microeconomics and macroeconomics that turn your business into a $X million revenue business? Emphasize the microeconomics (each user is worth $1/year because…) instead of the macroeconomics (if we can get 1% of a $10B market…).
9. Competition. Describe why customers use your product instead of the competition’s. Describe any competitive advantages that remain after the competition decides to copy you exactly. Never deny that you have competitors — it’s okay to compete. Against anyone. 56 PITCHING HACKS
10. Milestones. Describe your current status and prospective milestones for the next 1-3 quarters for your product, team, marketing, and sales. Use a table with the quarters on
11. Conclusion. Describe your current status and prospective milestones for the next 1-3 quarters for your product, team, marketing, and sales. Use a table with the quarters on the xaxis and the functions on the y-axis. Also include quarterly and cumulative gross burn (your expenses, assuming zero revenue) for the next 1-3 quarters. Don’t build a detailed financial model if you don’t have past earnings, a significant financial history, or insight into the issue. What hypotheses did you test in the last round of financing and what were the results? What hypotheses will you test with this round?
12. Financing. Dates, amounts, and sources of money raised. How much money are you raising in this round? Restate the hypotheses that you will test in this round.