You may have your business plan crystal clear in your head. However, before you launch, you will need to "pitch" your business to many people. To maximize your chances of success, you must have the following ready:
1. An Elevator Pitch: You should be able to explain to everyone what your idea is in a compelling and engaging manner, in under 60 seconds.
2. The Pitch Deck: You must have a 10-slide, 30-font, presentation deck. These 10 slides will capture the essence of your business. The 30- font requirement forces you to be parsimonious with your words. Use pictures when possible. We recommend the following slides:
i. Problem / Solution: What is the problem that your product/ service is solving? What is the solution you are offering?
ii. Product: Describe your product/ service.
iii. Customer: Who is your customer?
iv. Competition: Who else is offering something similar? Why is your product superior?
v. Marketing and Sales: How will you market and sell your product?
vi. Business Model: What will your price and cost be? How will you make money?
vii. Financial Plan: 3 Year Financial forecast.
viii. Funding: How much money will you need and how do you plan to fund it?
ix. The Team: Who are you, what are your combined strengths and why are you the best people to make this happen?
x. Timeline: When do you plan to start and what are the milestones along the growth path?
3. An Executive Summary: A 2-page document summarizing the above points.
4. A 10-page Business Plan: This will be the written version of the 10- slide deck. Some people prefer to read, others prefer a conversation. You must be ready for both.
5. Back Ups: During the course of researching and compiling your business plan, you will develop a considerable amount of data, which will result in a lot of slides and exhibits. As partners, vendors, lenders or investors get more interested they will want to dig deeper into your business. The 10-page slide deck may become 50 slides or even more. The depth of the presentation will depend on the audience.
Does this seem a bit daunting? It can be, but it need not be. I talk about every slide, every idea that you need, in detail in my book. I shall share them with you too through these posts.
Verinder Syal, Author: Discover The Entrepreneur Within