In almost every Startup Weekend, someone tries to teach the SBA Business Plan template. That’s not helpful.
The SBA plan is good if you’re more than a dozen people and pushing several million in revenues. By then you’ve got enough going on you’ll need to be looking for additional financing. But if you’re just starting out, not only will you get bogged down with their 40-page template, you really don’t know the answers to about half the questions.
It’s best to start with a simple plan. I’ve cobbled together the essence of several good teachings and templates into a Basic Business Plan. Answer the questions as best you can, and leave the rest for the next week’s session, after you learn a bit more about your market.
As you build the plan, I also recommend a Pitch Deck. This was given to me by a Venture Capitalist. It’s all he wants to see. He won’t read your SBA plan until you convince him with your presentation that you know the market, that your product meets the needs, and that you know how to execute the plan with the speed needed to generate profits.
After that, you can dig into a fuller plan. The one I like comes from Trump University. For all the negative press, there were actually some good tidbits in the presentations, for those willing to write the plan and then work the plan.
As always, if you need help collecting your ideas, or writing the content, contact me.