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The Business Plan Makeover

Business Plan MakeoverIf your company already has a business plan, chances are it's not as good as it could be. In fact, it may be awful, at least from a potential investor's perspective. This can be difficult, if not impossible, for you to see and even harder to accept. Why? Because you've put a tremendous amount of time and effort into writing your business plan, or have paid someone else good money to do so. No one knows your business better, or believes in it as much as you do. Everyone you've shown the plan to -- family, friends, employees, and associates -- tells you it's great.

But the truth is, the vast majority of business plans--even those written by investment and business planning professionals -- aren't very good. There are several reasons for this:

  • Most plans sell, sell, sell. It's common to see business plans written as if they are marketing brochures. That's natural, isn't it? After all, you're trying to sell investors on your business. Well, yes and no. Investors don't care what you think about your business. They are looking for facts they can consider objectively. A good business plan is analytical and factual. Investors will come to their own conclusions.
  • The plan overemphasizes product features or market opportunity. Or both. But most business plans neglect key aspects of the business model such as competitive and risk analyses, a well thought out go-to-market strategy, and a discussion of the skills possessed by the management team. You won't persuade investors by trying to convince them that your product or service is the greatest or that the market has a huge unfilled need that no one else sees. That approach leaves too many questions unanswered.
  • The plan doesn't really discuss the business. While most investors have their preferences when it comes to industries and types of businesses, their first and foremost interest is not in what you sell or who your customers are. By overselling and focusing on products and markets, most business plans fail to tell investors the very thing they are most interested in knowing: how, in the next 3 to 5 years, you're going to take in much more cash than you spend. You need to demonstrate a clear understanding of the cost of everything the business needs to do to achieve its revenue targets. And you also have to show you understand the timing issues involved in managing working capital needs, expanding payrolls, and on-going customer acquisition expenses.
  • The plan makes it sound like the business simply can't fail. People who invest in startups and early stage companies are in the business of taking risks. And everything in their experience tells them that businesses like yours are inherently risky. Which in fact they are. Most startups fail because of overconfidence, lack of customer orientation, missteps by management, poor financial discipline, bad luck, or some combination thereof. If you've convinced yourself that your business is a slam-dunk, you're not focusing on the risks that investors surely will. A good business plan presents investors with a lucid and balanced appraisal of the risks you are going to take with their money.

Our Business Plan Makeover™ offers you these benefits:

  • Your plan will be re-cast into one that has the right tone, content, structure and appearance. It will communicate competence before it's even read.
  • We'll evaluate your plan the way an investor would. If it doesn't meet our standards, it won't meet theirs.
  • You'll have an opportunity to correct any mistakes or fill any "holes" in the plan before you start circulating it.
  • You'll gain valuable perspective on your business, customers, and operations by working with us.
  • You'll be able to discuss your plan with investors with a much better understanding of their needs and expectations.
  • You'll be able to execute your business model with the benefit of greater perspective and a confidence grounded in a realistic appraisal of the risks and challenges you face.

The Cayenne Business Plan Makeover is a quick, affordable, and indispensable way to ensure that your business plan is as good as it can be.

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