By Ed McLaughlin and Wyn Lydecker
Entrepreneurs don’t need to use a formal business plan when pitching to investors. As we said in our previous blog on business plans (“When Do You Need a Business Plan?”), a brief one page summary or a slide show is really all you need to make a great first impression. Investors no longer want to see a 75-page, fact-filled ream of paper. They would rather have shorter plans that are in easy-to-digest forms. Some investors even want to see two-minute taped elevator pitches.
Sources for Business Plans
Guides to building a brief plan or pitch abound on the Internet. Etsy’s marketing pro, Carolyn Cummings, has a template on the site: How to Write a Creative Business Plan in Under an Hour. It is comprised of 10 questions that can be answered in less than 140 characters – think Twitter. “As you’re thinking about filling in these planning areas, don’t think of the experience as ‘I’m writing my business plan’,” she explained. A better philosophy is to think, ‘I’m pitching my business.’
10 Essential Questions
Investors don’t have lots of time to read, and one page can get the idea of your business across quickly and succinctly.
In your brief plan or pitch be sure you’ve answered the following 10 questions:
1. What problem are you solving (pain point)?
2. What is your idea?
3. Who is your customer?
4. How will you monetize your product?
5. How big is the market?
6. Who are your competitors?
7. What is your competitive advantage?
8. Who is on your management team?
9. How much money do you need?
10. What is your profit potential?
To help guide you through your startup though process, we have written “The Startup Roadmap: 21 Steps to Profitability.” For a limited time, you can get a complimentary eCopy of The Startup Roadmap: 21 Steps to Profitability by clicking this link. If you prefer the print edition, you can purchase it directly from Amazon for $9.99.
Once you have read The Startup Roadmap, please let us know what you think by emailing us at: Ed@ThePurposeIsProfit.com
Ed McLaughlin is currently co-writing the book, The Purpose Is Profit: The Truth about Starting and Building Your Own Business, with Wyn Lydecker and Paul McLaughlin.
Copyright © 2015 by Ed McLaughlin All rights reserved.