The world of small business is constantly evolving, with new trends emerging on a regular basis. This year, with the growth of the alternative lending market, more and more entrepreneurs are looking at new ways to get investors. That means your business absolutely needs an investor business plan to attract the right people.
There’s one problem in particular that I’m noticing in a lot of business plan clients I’ve supported recently. They seem to feel like no matter how they explain the concept, friends and family and even investors just don’t seem to grasp or support the vision.
Does this sound familiar? Perhaps your business plan is created and your pitch is rehearsed, but when you talk to people about it, one thing becomes very clear:
They just don’t get your idea.
What’s the Problem?
You have a great idea. You have a brilliant approach, and this is going to be an amazing business.
So why is your listener scratching their head or spacing out when you tell them about your plan?
Having a great idea gains value when you can explain that idea simply and clearly so others can get the concept. How you see the idea in your mind is not necessarily something your audience can grasp or understand.
It doesn’t matter if you have the greatest investor business plan ever, because if they can’t understand the basic concept, your meeting may be going nowhere fast.
You have to hold their hand and walk them through your vision — and do it quickly because you will lose them if it takes too long.
If you’ve been told by multiple people that your idea is confusing, that it won’t work, or that it doesn’t make sense, that’s okay — it just means you are ready for a new approach!
It’s Time to Try a One Page Business Plan
First of all, you don’t need to write a brand new investor business plan just for pitching. Instead, you can create a one-page document that provides a high-level overview of your full plan.
This one-page business plan is not meant to replace your existing plan. In fact, the one page MUST be based on the content from a finished business plan. What you’re really doing here is taking all the hard work you’ve already done when creating your investor business plan and using what you’ve learned to present your idea in a clear, concise way.
Sharing the whole business plan comes after your audience already gets your idea.
When you choose to go the route of using the one-page business plan, your pitch can be structured like this:
- Show the one-page pitch document.
- Give a formal powerpoint presentation if the investor requests one.
- Hand them the full business plan.
It’s like a first, second, and third date — you want to pace how you give your content to the investor and not overwhelm them with everything at once. By starting with the focus on your idea and ensuring that the people you’re present it to understand it, you can then add on from there.
As far as what the one-page business plan document should look like or include, start with making certain it’s no more than 300 words. (In fact, 200 is best.) Also, include two to five pictures or images that illustrate your idea. Feel free to add a statistic or two if it makes sense.
One way to approach creating the document is by making bite-sized messages that simply answer: “What is the idea?”, “What problem will it solve?”, and “Who will it benefit?” Determine the key questions people will have about your idea and answer those.
Why Most People Don’t Create a Short Investor Business Plan
Most entrepreneurs can’t seem to get their thoughts on paper. Their ideas swirl around in their head in a symphonic way that sounds good while it is stuck in their mind, but they know good and well that putting all of that on paper is not going to be easy.
So they simply put it off and never get around to it. (Sound familiar?)
I get it. It takes time and patience along with calculated thought and approach, and it’s not easy. It requires a mix of art and psychology with a bit of business savvy, and not everyone is comfortable with all three of those things.
Having said that, you still need to bite the bullet and create your one-pager. It can be THE MOST IMPORTANT thing you do to launch your business.
Having a clear message that your investor, partner, or underwriter can easily understand can make the difference in landing the money you need to take your business to the next level.
To be clear, this isn’t about needing a business plan writer. Consider investing in something like the Everything Package, where I can develop your one-page pitch, the investor powerpoint, AND the investor business plan to get you 100% ready to make a pitch.
Need to start working on your investor business plan but aren’t sure where to start? Schedule a consult with me, and let’s talk!