Everything in life is all about marketing. Life itself is marketing. Is it marketing ourselves professionally and personally, marketing our ideas to customers, bankers and investors, marketing our products and services or any other type of marketing you can think of. More often than not we are either being marketing to or we are marketing others.
We often don’t market our startup businesses much early and quite effectively. Some ultimate marketing tools we usually neglect are the business plan, executive summary as well as the financing pitch. Doing an effective marketing for your business is good and makes you stare at success right in the eye, exposes you to investors, outstanding executives, very favourable financing terms and also committed customers in the extremely competitive market in 2021.
Larger percentage of the business plans submitted to venture capitalists failed. The reason is that the plans are made for services or products not really needed by anyone or the business plan contains great business ideas but poorly presented. It is somewhat painful to fall in the second category. One has a good business idea but communicating it concisely, compelling and complete manner.
Conciseness: provide a simple and easy to understand explanation for the great business idea and how it is going to be executed. Usually, it is recommended that a business plan be about 20 pages for optimal performance, however 30 pages may not be bad though, it is acceptable as well. We effectively put the range between 20 and 30 pages. The 2-3 pages of executive summary is inclusive while the appendices are not included in the counting of the page length.
Few investors read the business plan in its entirety. One of the purposes of a business plan for the entrepreneur to offer explanation or describe the business they want to build so that
(a)They will be able to write a condense version in the form of executive summary that the will investors will likely read.
(b)They will have a guide to follow during the execution of the plans for the business.
Let the business plan be compelling: a compelling opportunity will naturally woo the right deals at the right time with the right price as well as the right team. Compelling businesses will always have favourable financing terms. In 2021, your goal is to make your business as compelling as possible. This way it will earn points from the investors’ judgement.
Render Complete Business Plan: Let your business be reviewed by a trusted third part to ensure it touches all issues which investors may possibly raise. Write a complete business plan in 2021. An incomplete business plan will lack any one or more of these essential parts such as financial projections for 3 or 5 years, marketing/sales strategy or even a compelling executive summary. The absence of any of these parts makes it look a lot unprofessional. A complete business plan will gain the trust of the readers very quickly.
You can start by using a sample business plan outline. Then fill in each section. However, I do not recommend a business plan package. Most of these are somewhat robotic and lacks the required experience investors will look out for. Therefore, don’t be branded this way. The major worry of investors are people, market, technology and financial. In effect too, your focus should be the robustness of your technology, how grounded are your people, and how large the market your dealing with is. State the barriers to entry in clear terms.
The financial model is a must. Ensure it is somehow interactive and not a static one. It may take time to create this type of financial model. Your financial model will definitely change and so, it should be flexible enough.
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