After speaking with many investors, entrepreneurs, and consulting startup guides left and right, here are some key things that are critical to include in your business plan:
b) Long Term Vision
c) Short Term Vision
d) Description of Services
e) Marketing Plan – who are your customers and why do they want your product/service
f) Marketing Strategy & Execution
g) Competitive Landscape
h) Market Research
i) Go-to-Market Execution Plan
j) Management Team & Personnel
k) Financials for 3-5 Years
l) Executive Summary – do this last but put it first
The earlier you are in your business, the more important are your vision and strategy. As you mature, your execution strategy will become more important than anything else.
Some investors will also look for other documents including: capitalization tables, detailed financial projections, breakeven analysis, balance sheet, marketing materials, inventory list, resumes, etc.
Whether or not you decide to bootstrap or get funding, thinking about these items ahead and during the startup will help put you on the right track.