“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” are the over quoted words of Benjamin Franklin. However, they still remain true today. A robust business plan is the key document in the arsenal needed to achieve your goals. Whatever, they may be.
Business plans come in many forms, from infamous scribbled notes on the back of napkins to 100 page plus sleep inducers. The appropriate plan for your business will change with time and of course your intended audience. Having what we call an “investment grade” business plan at all times will have significant benefits. This includes maintaining clarity of purpose around which you can gather your internal team and external partners, including providers of finance, and will leave you poised to evaluate and, if appropriate, to exploit opportunities as they present themselves.
An “investment grade” business plan differs in its exact content from business to business and often its stage of development and complexity. But based on our experience of selling and raising money for numerous clients, we can help you guide you towards the right document.
At a high level, a business plan is a tactical document that must meet the objectives of fully explaining the business, the opportunities it seeks to exploit and how it is going to go it manage the core pillars of people, process and technology.
Your business plan sits atop of a solid understanding of your strategy and the market your business faces. A good business plan often follows a strategy review and a market validation exercise and of course is not complete without a financial model.