Strategic Business Overview A Guide to Creating a Professional and Comprehensive Overview for Your Venture Revised 10/1/99 About this Guide...
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A Guide to Creating a Professional and Comprehensive Overview for Your Venture
Key Points: This section at the bottom of each slide lists the crucial questions that must be answered by that particular slide. Above all else, answer these questions.
Key Points: Remember, your materials (paper and presentation) are a direct reflection of you and the business in review. Keep it clean, simple and professional.
Key Points: What is the overall concept of the venture? Where does it fit into the business universe or “the grand scheme of things?” What will this Company do and How will it make money?
Key Points: Where did this product/technology come from? How and when did this all get started? How did the key participants get involved in the venture? What has been accomplished to date?
Key Points: What exactly is the product or service? What are its key features and benefits? How is it unique and different? Is the product / technology proprietary? If so, is it protected by patents? Why will potential customers want to buy it?
Key Points: What does the overall market look like and how big is it? How is the industry structured? Where are your customers and, again, why will they buy your product? Who are your competitors? What are your competitor’s strong points?
Key Points: Where are your competitive strengths/weaknesses? Which are real, sustainable competitive advantages vs. competitive strengths? How will you confront and minimize competition? What can you do to keep from being ambushed in the marketplace?
Key Points: Who exactly are your customers? Why will they buy from you? How do you intend to sell your product? How do you know they will buy it at your price? What are the key aspects of branding, promoting and distributing your product? Again, how can you assure reader that you can reach your projected sales levels?
Key Points: What are the critical steps, skills, equipment., technology and other resources needed to complete the development process. What are the sources of supply or technology? What are the potential missteps?
Key Points: How quickly can you grow the business? What is your strategy for reaching that goal? What are the resources needed to sustain a high growth rate? What are the key stress points?
Key Points: Who will run this company? Are they qualified? What holes need to be filled? What are the strengths and weaknesses? Note: this is the MOST important consideration. Investors want to see a track record of success.
Key Points: What are the realistic revenue projections? When will the company reach profitability? How much capital is needed, when will it be needed, what will it be used for? What is the investor’s exit strategy?
Creating and Making Presentations
The overriding goal of your Business Plan or presentation is to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you can successfully produce and build a company around your product/service and, more importantly, that a large number of people will in fact buy it.
The only real means of accomplishing this task is by adequately addressing all the topics listed on the previous slides and allaying the concerns raised by the questions found in the “Key Points.”
Keep in mind, ventures are only as credible as the people involved. Firmly establish your credibility and believability, and build the audience’s confidence in your team as a group of professionals. After all, it’s the management team that will drive a company to success or failure - all bets are on you.
Quotes to remember
“If you can prove that people will buy your product, you can raise money. If they don’t invest, it’s because they don’t believe in your product or they don’t believe in you”
- Joe Lassiter, Harvard Business School
“I usually know if I’m interested the moment the entrepreneur walks into the room”
- David Hull, Centennial Funds