Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How to Write a Winning Business Plan

Left to Right: Ryen Shimizu, Jesse Robbins, Bryan Brewer, and Hang Chen

NAAAP-Seattle hosted the event at Bank of America Executive Education Center, UW, on July 30th. The presentation was carried by our key speaker, Bryan Brewer with Business Plans Northwest. He is an author, journalist, consultant, and business owner specializing in business plans.

We'd like to summarize key points here for folks who are interested in this topic.

Courtesy information by Bryan Brewer

The Seven Secrets:

  1. Do the Thinking First: Refine your business model before you start writing your plan. Business plan documents consist of as follows:
  • Executive Summary: Get attention, create interest. This is about 2 pages maximum
  • Business Plan: Provide details for due diligence. 20-25 pages
  • Financial Projections: Provide justification for financial investment. Span 3-5 years (one page summary in Business Plan)
  • Investor Presentation: Create desire, close the deal. 10-15 slides of PowerPoint.
2. What Investors Look For: Experienced, passionate team, growth and scalability, real need, cost-effective way to target the market, sustainable competitive advantages, realistic revenue model, and ROI.

3. Talk to Your Customers: Validate their needs and use feedback to develop product and market strategy
4. Embrace Your Competition: Positioning & differentiation, market disruption, communicating your message, and keep motivated.

5. Don't Try To Predict the Future: The Purpose of financial projections is to demonstrate that you understand the key metrics that drive your business engine, and understand the basic elements of the equation, such as, revenue, variable costs, and fixed costs.

6. Don't Got It Alone: Look for entrepreneurial ecosystem and Board of Advisors, such as service providers, organizations, entrepreneurs, or investor.

7. The Plan is Not the Business: It's knowledge vs. Action or Idea vs. Execution.

Posted by Tanantha P. PR/Marketing, NAAAP-Seattle