August 8, 2007
Paper napkin business plan
I have often seen people struggling with their business plan. I have a bit unconventional take on the subject. May be, because it has worked well for me till now. So here is what I sugget:
A business plan does help. However a business plan should be proportionate with the size of investment you are making or seeking.
So, if you are starting small and testing the waters, I will suggest you to have a “paper napkin business plan”. A plan which reminds you of –
1) Your target audience,
2) Your product range and
3) Highlight the reasons why someone will buy the product / service from you. And, how will you achieve this?
I feel that this can be a mini-strategy document which will help you and these three things must be “thought upon” before venturing into anything.
You shall also put down in that paper –
1) Your cash-flow statement (Expected revenues & expenses – both pessimistically an optimistically). You can use this to verify if you are on the right path or not?
2) Your sales pitch! This is very important. If you are not convinced from your own sales pitch, no-one will be! Try to verify your sales pitch with friends you trust and take their feedback.
3) Risks to your business and how you will mitigate them.
4) Possible sources of acquiring business and how you want to prioritize and execute them.
5) Possible sources of funds, if you really need them at one point of time.
6) Some goals!
I think one can kick start a business from this “paper napkin business plan”. You can comfortably make it while you chew upon your favorite sandwich in the coffee shop.
Best of luck with your venture!