Interesting article to read. This plan can be applied to any kind of startup as it is a development strategy that doesn't just advice on how to grow but also gives an overview of the financial risks involved and the investments made into the company. Every company needs to review it's progress and have a clear view of where it's headed.
When trying to evaluate any manner of startup advice, the first, and foremost, consideration you must give to your potential company is its business plan. Your business plan is your roadmap for where you are and for where you want to go. It is a living, breathing entity that is forever evolving and is your primary weapon in attracting clients, investors and suppliers.
The first part of any solid business plan is to focus on what the company is, what the company has to sell, and how you, realistically, expect profits to materialize and grow. There are those offering startup advice that suggest you could simply do a boiler plate business plan but your business is as unique as you and your plan should reflect that.
The following information should be in any business plan:
- Of course, at the beginning you should have your company name and location, your personal name and contact information, as well as an easy to navigate table of contents so that those whose help you might seek can find what they are looking for quickly.
- An Executive Summary is a must. This is the opening snippet that includes the highlights of your plan from implementation, supply, funding, marketing, management, and financial projections.
- Give an Overview of your company detailing the operational aspects of the business. This tells people what your legal status is, employee projections, physical location, product and/or service lines as well as any assets and security strategies. Demonstrate to any potential investors how you are going to make money and how you would secure, and pay back, and potential loans.
- An action plan with regard to marketing and sales of your product is a must. It is the engine that drives profit. Include all marketing analysis, potential client demographics, marketing strategies, and research. Also include the logistics of your marketing vision with regard to advertising and any online marketing and social media strategies you have developed.
- Your management team and your achievement milestones are things that potential investors will be looking for. They want to see that you and your team are experienced in the field or industry and they want to be able to see what their investments have achieved in a step by step progression toward a final fruition of your company.
- Financial projections need to be included if you are looking to attract investment be it a bank loan or outside venture capital. These are future predictions not current accounting statements. They are looking for you to project out at least three years with regard to profit and loss as well as how your balance sheet will look along with cash flow analysis and projections.
Regardless of any startup advice you might receive, the best advice you can adhere to is that everything starts with your business plan.