Building a business requires more than just an idea and a plan. For a moment (and you may need to refer to this moment often), put yourself in an investor’s position… What would YOU want to know about a business before you invested in it? We often recommend investing an amount of money in a friend’s business just to get the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual experience of investing precious CASH in someone else’s business. Now, more than ever, you must be convincing to the bone. And, expect that intelligent people with money will want to feel comfortable with you and your answers. You will find that, no matter who you are and what you are doing, you’re going to need answers to these basic questions:
- Who are you?
- Why are you in business?
- What is the opportunity here?
- What is the current situation in the world?
- How big is the market?
- What will you sell?
- How is your business structured?
- How will you make money?
- Who else is doing the same thing?
- How do you compare?
- Who are your most important customers?
- How will you reach and inspire them to buy from you?
- Do you have any strategic partners who will help?
- Who are the people running your business?
- What experience do you/they have?
- Who else are you working with?
- Who are your advisors? Who is on your board?
- Where are you today?
- What have you accomplished?
- How much money do you need to start / grow?
- What will you do with the money? What’s the deal?
- How much money will investors make?
- When & how will investors make their money back?
Your Executive Summary will either inspire an investor emotionally or not (that’s how most of us make decisions). This will only open the door to further discussion and exploration. The rest of your plan must provide the whole story with proof, logic, and the introduction to the people who will be response-able to build and run the business.
Investors likely have many interests. When you approach them with a complete plan
A) you will have the above answers firmly in your head and you will be able to speak them with certainty
B) your plan will provide written documentation that adds believe-ability
C) having done the math, you will feel great about your prospects for personal wealth, as well as a huge payoff for your investor(s).