As we wrote before, many investors don’t want to read your business plan. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the time to write one. Writing a business plan is good discipline for the entrepreneur and can force you to think through things you might otherwise ignore. Below is a best practices on realistic, executable business planning.
Effective business planning and execution go hand-in-hand to help start-up companies create and implement on an effective, focused strategy. At least a very basic business plan should be created early in the companies’ formation, usually before a formal company launch but certainly before significant time or resources are invested in the business. A complete business plan should be available at the time at which you begin formal fundraising efforts (remember, it usually takes 6 months+ to raise money). Three key business planning steps include:
I. Develop a Thorough, Realistic and Compelling Business Plan
A business plan is an important planning, communications and selling document typically consisting of a 2-3 page Executive Summary and an approximately 20-30 page business plan. The executive summary is critical as this is what most will turn to first to assess your company; A poor executive summary may cost you key investors or key hires. It should be written last.
II. Conduct Regular, Ongoing-Business Planning
All effective start-ups need to continually validate and revise their business plan as needed.
III. Execute, Execute, Execute
Entrepreneurship requires effective, speedy execution in an uncertain environment.