[Sequoia Capital] Investor Friendly Business Plan Format for Startups


A Business plan is a blueprint of your company and it’s information should be very clear and concise to your  potential partners and investors. It’s  an essential roadmap for business success and  for achieving your business goals but not a guarantee for success.

best Business plan format

Most assumptions in business plans change before the end of the first year. To boost your chances of securing funding from angels and VC’s, Sequoia capital has put together a great business plan format for writing a winning and investor friendly business plan. Sequoia capital is one of Silicon Valley’s most influential venture-capital firms. Sequoia has funded a number of enormously successful companies including Google, Yahoo, Paypal, Apple, YouTube, LinkedIn, Admob, Zappos, Airbnb and Instagram.

In presenting the business plan format Sequoia said “We like business plans that present a lot of information in as few words as possible. The following business plan format, within 15–20 slides, is all that’s needed.”

Company Purpose

  • Define the company/business in a single declarative sentence.

Problem

  • Describe the pain of the customer (or the customer’s customer).
  • Outline how the customer addresses the issue today.

Solution

  • Demonstrate your company’s value proposition to make the customer’s life better.
  • Show where your product physically sits.
  • Provide use cases.

Why Now

  • Set-up the historical evolution of your category.
  • Define recent trends that make your solution possible.

Market Size

  • Identify/profile the customer you cater to.
  • Calculate the TAM (top down), SAM (bottoms up) and SOM.

Competition

  • List competitors
  • List competitive advantages

Product

  • Product line-up (form factor, functionality, features, architecture, intellectual property).
  • Development roadmap.

Business Model

  • Revenue model
  • Pricing
  • Average account size and/or lifetime value
  • Sales & distribution model
  • Customer/pipeline list

Team

  • Founders & Management
  • Board of Directors/Board of Advisors

Financials

  • P&L
  • Balance sheet
  • Cash flow
  • Cap table
  • The deal

Business plan format courtesy Sequoia Capital

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