Creating your first startup business plan

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Identifying the market opportunity for your business is essential to show its value to investors.

Developing a clear and concise business plan for your startup can be the difference between gaining investment or not, and even success or failure, in some cases.

Rafik Jallad is the founder and CEO of BlueCreation, an Internet of Things focused company, which he then sold to Sierra Wireless. He is also a non-executive director, consultant and part of the Accelerate Cambridge team.

In this video Rafik explains how to create a compelling business plan for your startup, including why getting the market sizing right is key and how to do it, and the steps to making your proposition attractive to investors.




10 tips on creating your first startup business plan

  1. Keep it brief
    Be able to explain concisely and clearly what your business is and why it can be successful. What problem does your product or service solve?
  2. Know your audience
    The first consideration for any business plan, or indeed any product, should be, what is the audience?
  3. Work hard on your executive summary
    It has to be engaging. Busy and experienced investors may only read the summary so it must impress.
  4. Know the competition
    Every product has competition, you need to explain who yours is and why you can challenge them.
  5. Identify the market
    Your market research needs to be thorough. How big is your market? Know its dynamics, geography, trends, customer habits, and more.
  6. Be confident but sensible
    Avoid the use of superlatives. Investors want to know the facts. If you can’t back up a statement better to leave it out.
  7. Provide a team overview
    Explain why your team is worth backing is key. Provide an overview of your team and why they are the right people to take the idea to market.
  8. Have correct financials
    Be prepared to defend your projections, sales predictions, costs and any other figures with robust calculations.
  9. Include funding requirements
    It doesn’t have to be detailed at this stage but a line or two or how much money you need to raise.
  10. Get a second opinion
    As founder the plan should be your vision but if possible get a second pair of eyes, ideally from an experienced entrepreneur or investor in your network.

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