Monday, 23 March 2009

A business plan checklist for VC funding

This post will doubtless expand as people make suggestions, but I have meant for some time to get round to posting a checklist I can refer people to look over.

Have you removed as many superlatives as possible and replaced them with numbers/facts (e.g. changing "Joe has been a leader in user-interaction design for many years" with "Joe has lead user-interaction design projects for BigCorp, and SmallHouse for 10 years and produced the interaction for the WebThingy service used by 200,000 people a month.")
How would your customer describe the problem that your service/product solves?
How do your customers solve that problem now, and how will they solve it in the future without you?
What do your customers pay to solve that problem today, what will they pay for your solution?
How will you to teach each of your customers about your solution to the point they will buy and how much will that cost (don't forget to allow for those that never get round to ordering/paying)?
How will your competitors react to your early success? How much will it cost them and how long will it take them to catch up?
How long has it taken other companies entering this space to build up customers?
Have you identified a clear route to market, is there a beachhead market segment you have in mind, in what way is this different from the mainstream?
What more must be done, what will it cost, and how long will it take before the product/service is ready to generate revenue?
What have the team done before (illustrated with numbers where possible)?
What other businesses have made good money and/or exits working in the same problem space? What steps have you taken to learn from the people who did that?
Please suggest some more!