Writing a Business Plan

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After you have completed your customer discovery and refined your product and go-to-market process, it is time to get your business plan down on paper. This definitely does not need to be something from a school textbook that is 20 pages long and filled with heavily researched charts and graphs. The main goal here is to help you understand what resources you require to get the business rolling. The main priorities are product, customer acquisition, staffing, technology, financing, and other related areas. Put all of this into a document will allow you to track your progress and keep your team on target. The business plan will also help you to prepare your first pitch deck for investors or partner companies when needed.

Your business plan should start with a description of the company. You can then move into the products or services you will offer. The product section should be more detailed and built upon the customer discovery work you should have already completed. Include info on the product specifications and pricing in this section. You can also discuss the competition and why your solution is better. You should next include your marketing plan. Write out the ways you will find and onboard customers, detailing your sales strategy and advertising you plan to do in the early days.

Your business plan should then cover the technology or product sourcing you will need to bring your solution to life. Detail who will build and manage this part of your business and any third-party vendors you will need to identify. You should next build out the initial plan for your team, including the number of people, key roles, how you will source talent, and what you will pay them.

Once you have completed these steps, you should be able to calculate your startup expenses and include these in the business plan. Pay attention to all out-of-pocket expenses including website, email, financial reporting, staffing services, licensing, registration, office supplies, and anything else you can think of. You will then want to write out your plan for how you will fund these initial expenses. Are you injecting capital yourself, borrowing the money, or raising early equity? Get it into the business plan.

If you prepare a quality business plan, it will help you to manage the early stages of growth in your business. This plan will keep you organized and create accountability for you and your team.