– It doesn’t need to be “War and Peace”
– Include an Executive Summary
– Use a “Bottom-Up” analysis of the market opportunity
– Be realistic with your projections
– Use plain language and avoid jargon
– Discuss the market problem and explain how your solution addresses that problem
– Use examples and/or screenshots whenever possible
Address the Risks Head On
– Market Risk: Talk honestly about competition. Recognize that Market Adoption is always a factor.
– Technology Risk: It’s OK to sell vaporware and betaware, but don’t try to sell your investors that you’re further along than you really are.
– Financial Risk: Don’t be too greedy with your equity and don’t run out of cash.
– Execution Risk: Have a back up plan and expect bumps in the road.
– Management Risk: Talk about your experiences, your successes and your failures.
– Explain how they’re relevant to the current business. Be upfront about management team weaknesses. Every team has room to grow.
Questions Your B-Plan Should Address
– What problem do you solve?
– What is your product?
– Who is the customer?
– Who will sell it?
– How many people will buy it?
– How much will it cost?
– How much will you charge?
– When will you break even?
– Why would anyone buy your product?
– What will it look like?
– When will it ship?
– How different are you from the competition?
– What is the product’s name?
– Do the customers think it is a good idea?
– Who is the real customer?
– What are your customers’ secrets?
– Should you do focus groups?
– How much will the customer pay?
– Who is your competition?
– What are they doing?
– What is their value proposition?
– What are their secrets?
– What do the experts say?
– What do the numbers say?
– What do the users say?
– What’s on the web?
– What do the media think?
– Can you predict the future?
The Marketing Strategy
– What is your strategic objective?
– What is your marketing objective?
– How will you sell and support the product?
– Who will generate demand?
– Will you need marketing or sales?
– What is the marketing plan?
– How do you become front page news?
VC 4 Africa Contributor: Victor Oluremi Adedoyin