After a few early moves, developing a business plan is a hearty exercise. Business plans are less pivotal than some scholars preach, but writing a business plan does force you to pick through the details of your business. This deliberate planning will help pave a path toward sustainability. The understandings will also help you articulate honest details to potential co-founders, investors, and early adopters.
I considered sharing the original FliteBrite business plan from 2016, but decided to keep this detailed document offline. That said, if you’re building and would like to look at this multimedia masterpiece, send me a note and we’ll look at it together! If you’d like feedback on your emerging business plan, I’d be happy to discuss that as well.
This first version of a business plan does not need to be super long, but it should include a handful of key elements. While this can feel heavy, the work you previously put into wireframing and canvasing will lighten the load as you flesh out details. Below are the traditional elements to include:
- Executive Summary
- Company Description
- Market Analysis
- Products & Services
- Marketing & Sales
While using a standard form may add efficiency for readers, one size does not fit all. Consider how you’ll be using this dynamic document and who will be reviewing it. There are more details and endless examples online, such as this guide from the U.S. Small Business Administration, which will help you cater a business plan to your needs.
Creating a business plan is rarely a waste of time, but they do become a required asset when you’re raising financial capital. A few situations where you’ll likely need a business plan include grant applications, traditional bank loans, equity financing, and pitch competitions. Entrepreneurial support organizations (ESOs) may request a business plan to activate their services as well.
As you build a business plan, use a clarifying framework, concise content, and mark areas that may need to be frequently updated. This makes the document interesting, more digestible, and easier to maintain. Along with keeping this evolving asset fresh, consider how your business plan connects to support other emerging resources that collectively paint the picture of your company.
Stay tuned as we’ll look at one pagers, pitch decks, and investor memos next week, then explain how to weave everything into a forwardable investor pack as we conclude this month of themed tactics geared to keep your idea from slipping toward someday.