Published on September 16th, 2014 | by Jose Vasquez1
5 Questions Your Business Plan Needs to Answer
Before you’re ready to finalize your business plan, make sure it clearly and directly answers these five important questions.
Many new entrepreneurs tend to overthink their business plans. It’s an easy thing to do, especially when you’re passionate about your idea and you’re nervous about the possibilities of getting funding and starting to get momentum. You’re tempted to ramble about the benefits of your product, the possible future of your company, and everything in between, and you want to make sure it’s in a near-perfect format.
The truth is there’s no one necessary format for business plans, and stuffing all the information you can into it isn’t always the best strategy. Instead, focus on presenting your material as concisely and clearly as possible. You can start by making sure your business plan accurately and visibly addresses these five questions:
- Why are you different? Your idea is not 100 percent original. It’s either a reimagining or a rediscovery or a transformation of something that already existed. So what makes it different? Why is it unique? Call out your competitors and contrast yourself with them. Do whatever you can to show that you’re unique.
- Who cares? It’s not enough to simply illustrate why you’re unique; you also have to prove that somebody cares. Who is going to buy your product? Who is going to be excited to see it? Use demographic information and surveys to substantiate your claims, when possible.
- What do you have? You should already have a good start. Name all prototypes and sketches you have, but also call out your personal industry experience and any team members you’ve gathered.
- What do you need? You need something to get going. What is it? Be as precise and exacting as possible and list everything that’s currently stopping you from selling like a madman.
- When is this going to happen? Accurate timeframes are necessary so you can be held accountable for your future milestones. Build your timelines conservatively, and be realistic.
If you’re drafting your business plan and it currently doesn’t answer these questions, or it only answers them indirectly, you’ll need to make some revisions before you begin shopping it around. Really take the time to get your business plan in good shape—it’s often the focal point for your potential investors’ final decisions.
|How Social CEOs Can Build Startup Tech Companies|
|The Disappearance of Paid Apps for Startup Tech Companies|
|How to Maintain Company Culture While Undergoing Expansion in Startup Tech Companies|