Have a great idea for a business but not sure how to get it started? America’s #1 business coach Clay Clark will teach you how to make your idea a business.
5 Steps to Start a Business from an Idea
Step 1 – Create Your Business Plan
1. Cover. Include your logo, tagline, and complete contact
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
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…
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
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.
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 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?
11. Conclusion. This slide can be inspirational, a larger vision of
what the company could accomplish if these current plans are
realized, or a rehash of the Summary slide.
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.
Step 2 – Build Your Brand – Website, Business Cards, One Sheet, Contract
Step 3 – Define Your Ideal and Likely Buyers
Step 4 – Define Your 3-Legged Marketing Stool
Step 5 – Attempt to Sell It