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.
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.”
- Define the company/business in a single declarative sentence.
- Describe the pain of the customer (or the customer’s customer).
- Outline how the customer addresses the issue today.
- Demonstrate your company’s value proposition to make the customer’s life better.
- Show where your product physically sits.
- Provide use cases.
- Set-up the historical evolution of your category.
- Define recent trends that make your solution possible.
- Identify/profile the customer you cater to.
- Calculate the TAM (top down), SAM (bottoms up) and SOM.
- List competitors
- List competitive advantages
- Product line-up (form factor, functionality, features, architecture, intellectual property).
- Development roadmap.
- Revenue model
- Average account size and/or lifetime value
- Sales & distribution model
- Customer/pipeline list
- Founders & Management
- Board of Directors/Board of Advisors
- Balance sheet
- Cash flow
- Cap table
- The deal
Business plan format courtesy Sequoia Capital