Mark Rahn, the newest member of our technology team, is doing a great job and took to the job like a "duck to water". He came up with a real gem of an observation the other day, which I've taken the liberty of christening, "Rahn's Law".
|"The quality of a proposition is inversely proportional to the amount of time the plan or team spends extoling its virtues."|
This links nicely to four tests for any business plan which I've always urged our investees employ:
Four tests for business plans
1. The superlative testHave you obliterated all superlatives? Leave it to the judgement of the reader if something is really "exciting","superb", let alone is someone's track record is one of "success".
2. Have you used facts/numbers wherever you can?It's a good discipline to try and replace each superlative with a number or fact instead: it makes writing much punchier! Don't say there's a "multi-billion dollar market for mobile software", try and say something like "there's a £n million market for GPS software on mobile devices". It's a great deal harder to write this stuff, but it helps convey real market knowledge and understanding.
3. Check that jargon is appropriate/necessaryIf I was writing a plan associated with "WiMax", the I probably need to refer to "WiMax"; that's appropriate use of jargon. However, it doesn would a proposition really benefit from using "ARPU" when you're not talking about anything that's not encapsulated by the word "revenue".
4. Can a non-specialist reader tell what the company provides?Include a laymans explanation of what your product or service is/does. A good case-in-point is a company I've been reading about tonight: they provided three documents in total describing the business, but after reading them, I have only the vaguest idea what the business does. Without this information all the stuff about the team, route to market and competitors is really hard to understand, relate or assess.
I'm sure there are some other great suggestions out there...?