Business planning · Fundraising

Preparing a Great Business Plan?

Zainul Tinwala CEO at H T Impex.

August 20th, 2016

I have an idea and have done some research and number crunching on it. Now I need to prepare a great business plan which I can take to potential investors. Have checked out many Business plan software sites and also freelance peopleperhour etc. But Im confused how to identify a correct person to help me prepare the pitch. I have all the data and numbers just need to put them in a proper manner and also maybe some points I may miss out on otherwise.
A great idea is 1% of the work. Execution is the other 99%. In this course, we’ll teach you how to conduct market analysis, create an MVP and pivot (if needed), launch your business, survey customers, iterate your product/service based on feedback, and gain traction quickly.

David Fadayomi Strategy & Planning | MobBrains Consulting Group

August 20th, 2016

My suggestion is to ignore the typical 'business plan' approach and start with the Business Model Canvas, in my opinion this helps you to focus on key areas of your idea & unearth your value proposition. When you say "research", does it involve customer interviews/development? If not, that's another area that will help refine your idea & validate all those assumptions. Be sure to check out Justin Wilcox for more information. Good luck! Sent from my iPhone

Nawaz Ahmed Founder CEO 5n Business Consultants

August 20th, 2016

Dear zainul Just sharing professional business plan format which is being used four investors from USA to Sydney Click http://5nbusinessconsultants.com/business_plan_sample Regards Nawaz

Andrea Gentili COO (and co-Founder) at Kobo Funds

August 21st, 2016

Hi Zainul
let me try to share my experience...I receive and read dozens of Business Plan every month. They are rarely well prepared. And almost always they don't answer some key questions (e.g. as someone has already mentioned "how much money do you need?".
So, unless you are one of the rare geniuses who have set up several companies and raised millions all by themselves, you are right to look for help in order to increase the chance to be funded.
However it is also true that you should be the main player while preparing the Business Plan.
I would proceed as follows:
- choose one of the templates that other people have suggested
- prepare a first draft of your Business plan
- to finalise it, ask for help to an advisor who has experience in Fund Raising (and ideally in your industry too)

What above won't give you certainty to be funded but it will surely increase your chances.
Good luck

Paul Garcia President at TABLE

August 22nd, 2016

Zainul,
You don't need software or a freelancer, you need to follow the format whomever is reading your plan will want, and you may benefit from a mentor who will read your plan once you have covered the essentials and help you work through sections where you struggle and improve it for your goals in fundraising.

This is available nationwide from SCORE, a non-profit which offers free mentoring service delivered by retired executives, and is supported by the SBA. You can meet in-person weekly to go through your business plan and improve it together. You can download the template to use for free at https://www.score.org/resource/business-plan-template-startup-business and it's an excellent place to start. It will at least show you all the bases you have to cover and blanks to fill in.

You may feel a great deal of urgency right now to start meeting with investor candidates, but don't hurt your chances of a warm reception by not preparing with all the unlimited time you have to plan.

Steven Krane Entrepreneur & Investor

August 20th, 2016

Hi - I have started 8 companies and raised millions of dollars. No one should do the business plan other than you.

Massimiliano Cattarello Manager at KPMG AG, Berlin

February 14th, 2017

In my expecience as consultant and as auditor I think that the best way to prepare an effective BP is using MS excel and powerpoint. In a business plan is very important the manner how you present the figures and strategy but in my experience the most important part are the underlying assumptions that have to be shown properly and needs a satisfactory explanation. Hope this helps.

Max

Bill Warner Managing Partner of Paladin and Associates

August 20th, 2016

You should do the plan, but for your pitch, definitely get help from people who know how to present to investors. You can contact me if you would like some assistance on that. You can contact me on LinkedIn if you would like some guidance. 

Martin Omansky Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional

August 21st, 2016

I have written and/or evaluated thousands of business plans as an entrepreneur, investment banker, fund manager, and business plan competition judge. My conclusions are: (1) business plans are first and foremost, internal documents - written by the principals and advisors to model and then operate their ventures; (2) clear writing is a reflection of clear thinking; (3) when business plans are shown to potential investors, they must be concise, and they must contain information relevant to the investor audience (a d in the format and language that investors understand. The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is that they tend to accentuate the product idea and trivialize the business fundamentals. Sent from my iPhone

Pete Fry Founder, START LLC | Business Planning | Startups | Strategy

August 20th, 2016

As the founder it's important the plan is your plan so it's a good idea if you write at least the first draft - if not the whole thing. The software and articles you can google will give you an idea of the structure you'll need. For the first draft I would not worry about perfect grammar or flow - just get your ideas down. Some of the key ideas will be in your financial projections/model and assumptions - even though most people recognize these contain a lot of guesswork it's important to be able to demonstrate to potential investors how things might work out in their favour. Different investors have different requirements for pitch/plan/model. Some are OK with just a slide deck. Some are happy with a 4 page summary - some prefer a longer plan - if only to demonstrate that the founder has thought things through - probably a maximum of 18 pages though - if you need more then use appendices/exhibits for the extra information. If you need help with pitching/writing/editing the plan find someone with relevant experience and get references. Good luck with your business! Pete

Burke Franklin

August 20th, 2016

Take a look at the BizPlanBuilder business planning software from Business Power Tools. It's designed to enable you to write your business plan yourself. It's also collaborate in the cloud -- any of these guys on here can log in to assist you.