Writing a business plan can be a long and difficult process for new entrepreneurs. It is helpful to do some research and seek professional help from experts in business plan writing or reviewing to ensure your business plan is up to par with the rest of the industry. I chose to highlight two writing and reviewing experts and share their advice about start-up companies.
Founder of Dowsing for Sound, Mudhut Consulting and Co-Founder of Brick Handbag, Andrea Cockerton is a venture funding and independent pitch expert in the United Kingdom. She consults and advises clients from start-ups to global brands. Areas of expertise include technology, law, international development and the arts. She also specializes in business strategy, investment readiness, public speaking, musical direction and self-defense.
She gives advice about the important information to include in business plan. One of the most important aspects of the business plan is financing. If a company does not pitch the idea correctly, or if the investors cannot see the importance or potential success in the company, they will be less likely to provide the finances that the company is asking for. In an expert interview on funding and pitching, Andrea explains that there are 3 important things to include when pitching your business plan to investors: You need to tell them that you are “(1) targeting a growing market with a need for your product or service, (2) that the team is talented and able to execute the business plan, and (3) that your product, service or idea is groundbreaking” (Thenextwomen.com, 2008). Andrea Cockerton is also a mentor with FreshIdeas, a company that provides a mentor service to advise, guide and encourage businesswomen. When giving advice to people starting out in business, Andrea states, “Two things really count when starting out – the first is an in-depth understanding of what your market needs, and the second is a balance of resilience & flexibility when crafting your product or ‘solution’ to meet that need… “ (Fresh Ideas, 2013).
Steve Blank is a very successful businessman. In his 33-year career, he has founded or was apart of eight venture-backed companies, four of which went public. The Silicone Valley entrepreneur then retired, only to begin teaching at Berkley, Stanford and the Columbia University/Berkley Joint MBA program. He has taught many undergraduate and graduate students the business behind successful entrepreneurship.
In his article, “Who Dares to Win-The 2nd International Business Model Competition,” Steve talks about how the business plan is a roadmap for execution. He explains that it is an excellent tool for established businesses to present “follow-on products.” Steve believes that business plans fail to stand up to chaotic real world situations. Instead, start-up companies should be utilizing a business model to organize their hypotheses. The business model will help businesses emulate reality and how to develop relationships with their customers. Please feel free to read some of these informative articles at Steveblank.com.