Guide to a winning business plan

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1 Guide to a winning business plan

2 Guide to a winning business plan How to use the guide: The following fields are mandatory to use and are evaluated by the judges when you submit an entry in Venture Cup s business plan competition: 1. Written Pitch 2. Vision 3. Summary of business model 4. Complete business model 5. Team 6. Risk Analysis 7. Implementation Plan 8. Cash & Results Budget. NOTE! In this competition phase, business plan, you re entry shall not exceed 10 pages including appendices, but excluding the cover page and table of contents. All business plans are unique and it is up to you and your team to decide what is most important to highlight in your idea. Under each heading in this guide, there are examples of issues that are worth writing about, these are meant to help you to describe your idea. To ensure that your project meets Venture Cup s requirements, read the rules before you start writing. You will find the rules on Venture Cup s website under Try to describe your business idea so that people with different backgrounds and expertise understand it. Also note that an esthetically pleasing and structured business plan is easier to take in and read for the recipient. We hope you will use this guide as a tool to create a winning business plan, and in the long term a sustainable growth company. Our best advice to you as an entrepreneur is to test your idea on the market. In the business plan, try to explain how your team plan to do business. You can prove your arguments and convince readers that you are right by showing the reader how you concluded the assumptions you are making in the business plan. Maybe you have asked potential customers / experts in the field how they want things to work? Maybe you have tried to sell your product? Show the reader how you have concluded the assumptions in the text and your business plan will increase in credibility! Good luck!

3 Cover Page A cover page gives a professional look and shall include: allowance / company name, with each participant s name and contact information, confidentiality clause (see below), and if possible a picture of the offer. Privacy Clause Use the following confidentiality clause on the Cover Page of your entry to protect your idea; This business plan is confidential. The business plan itself or the information from this description may not be used, reproduced or made available to third parties without prior written permission from [your name or subsidy]. 1. Written pitch A pitch is a short presentation of your product, service or organization and its purpose is to convince the recipient of something, such as that your solution is the best to a specific problem. Describe your business idea in short, so that anyone who reads your entry can quickly get an overview of what it contains. Please use the structure of the NABC (Need, Approach, Benefits per cost, Competition). Start of by describing the problem or need you have identified. Then describe your idea briefly and its benefits, is your solution more effective than competitors or cheaper to produce? End the pitch with a brief description of the options to your solution and a call for action from the reader; what do you want the reader to do when he/she has read your pitch? Do you want him/her to invest in the company or perhaps try your product?try to catch their interest in the introduction of your pitch, if possible engage the reader s thoughts and feelings by delivering both touching stories and facts. 2. Vision What is the company vision? Why are you doing this? 3. Summary of the business model Business Model Canvas (BMC) is a model and a tool that is used to create an overview of your business model. Think through your business idea and describe the essence of your idea with a few short sentences in each box to keep track of how everything is connected. If you want, you can download an editable BMC by visiting There you will also find the Venture Cup dictionary that explains all the terms in the BMC. Please use the assumptions you made in your BMC to formulate hypotheses to test in reality. If the hypotheses proves different in reality than what you have written then update your BMC. If your description of your offer in a BMC for example contains: My offer is the use of umbrellas that provide shade on the beach a possible testable hypothesis could be; Shadow is something you request on the beach and Umbrellas are the best way to provide shade on the beach. Do your potential customers agree with you or are there things you haven t thought about? Ask them!

4 Business model for your business idea For more information about the different parts can be found at Venture Cups website Key partners Key activities Value proposition Customer relationships Customer segment Key resources Distribution channels Cost structure Revenue stream Challenge yourself and compete in the Venture Cup! Sign up at businessmodelgeneration.com 4. Business Model The business model consists of nine areas (see the BMC model). In this following paragraph we want you to describe the business models areas more in detail. Below you will find suggested questions to answer under each area. 4.1 Value Proposition Describe the problem or need your idea solves. Do not forget to specify the target group that has this problem or need and how big a problem it is for the target audience, what if it is not solved? Describe your solution to the problem or need and what is unique about it? (Example of the uniqueness of concept, product, business model, etc.) Describe which benefit / value for the customer to use your product? (In money / time / convenience / quality improvement / etc.) Describe the competing products and describe why the customer should buy your product over your competitors? Describe how you will protect your product and create a competitive advantage? (industrial designs, patents, rate of innovation, design, marketing, etc.) Describe if there is a patent or legal protection that prevents you from selling your product in the market? Describe whether the product is fully developed? If No, how much time / capital is needed to create a marketable product? Describe how your company will be sustainable in terms of environmental and social aspects in the long run?

5 4.2 Customer Segment Describe the company s first customers. How many are they? How they stand to your offer? Describe your customers more specifically, for example, by age, gender, language, income, lifestyle, buying behavior, personality, etc.). Describe how you have verified that your potential customers are actually interested in the solution you offer them to solve their problems? Describe how much money the customer would likely spend on your product and what you base this figure. Describe the potential market that you are looking for your idea? Size, growth prospects, trends and developments? 4.3 Distribution Channels Describe where and how you will sell your product (physical / digital / etc.). Describe how you will deliver your value proposition to your customers. Describe the potential market barriers that exist and how you will circumvent these. 4.4 Customer Relations Describe how you will acquire customers. Describe what is required to establish and maintain a relationship with your customers? (eg time, money, resources, etc.). How will the customer know about the company and your offer? How will you get the customer to buy your product? Describe and explain how you will differentiate your offer in relation to your competitors? Are you going to compete through better technology, design, service, availability and price etc? Has your company greater sustainability benefits? When you ve got customers, how will you proceed in order to maintain these in the long term? 4.5 Revenue Describe how you will monetize your idea. From where will you get money? (direct sales, resellers, advertisers, service contracts, licensing, franchising, subscriptions, etc.). Describe the amount of product you estimate to sell. When will you sell them? What price will you charge for your product and how did you determine this price? 4.6 Key Partners Describe what collaborations / partnerships are important to your business (suppliers, distributors, manufacturers, advertising agencies, dealers, etc.) Describe the key resources you get from your partners (personnel, materials, knowledge, etc.). Describe how you will initiate contact with your potential partners Have you examined your collaborations / partnerships from a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable perspective?

6 4.7 Key Activities Describe the key activities you need to perform in order to create and deliver your value proposition to the customer (eg manufacturing, product development, logistics management, sales, outsourcing, software development, etc.). 4.8 Key Resources Describe the main resources to be able to create and deliver your product (such as staff, web, machinery, buildings, vehicles, patent, trademark, etc.). Describe whether your distribution channels requires some specific resources. 4.9 Costs Describe which the main costs are or will be when the company get started (rank them in size). Describe your marketing costs. Describe whether the company needs capital and how so, plan to finance it. Please comment your calculations in the text, what assumptions do you base your calculations on? 5. The Team Describe the people who are in the team, the roles and relevant experiences you have. Why will your team succeed with this idea and be successful? Describe what motivates you and why you are doing this. Describe how the experiences and skills that you lack will be linked to the team. 6. Risk Analysis Describe and assess the risks that exist in the different parts of your business model and which may threaten the success of your business (technical, economic, market, environmental, human barriers, etc.). One way to do this is to create a risk matrix. Describe your potential risks and evaluate them based on probability of occurrence and impact if they occur. Describe how you will manage or prevent these risks and minimize their negative impact (One suggestion is to describe this through various likely scenarios).

7 7. Implementation Plan Create an implementation plan with activities and milestones over the company s future. As a suggestion, you can use a GANTT chart. You will find a template on 8. Cash & Results budget Describe your budget and explain the numbers you specify, and what assumptions you have based the figures on. Use the suggested templates from Adapt the content for your particular business idea, no budget is like the other! Keep in mind that the jury should be able to understand how you think and what you mean. A tip is therefore to make some comments on the budget. At Last: By testing the hypothesis you draw about your idea, you create insights on how to improve your business and your company. It is important to remember that testing should not stop when the company is started. Times are changing constantly, the customers needs as well in order to continue to offer your customers what they want, you have to keep up. If you need any help, don t hesitate to contact anyone at Venture Cup for help. Good luck!

8 Questions? If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us! Our contact details are listed on our website. Good luck!

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