Guidelines Business Plan

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1 Guidelines Business Plan and Innovation CTI

2 Jurors evaluate business plans and provide feedback entrepreneurs in 9 areas and VCs in 4 areas Objectives Elements of evaluation Relevant for ranking 1 Jurors evaluate business plans and provide constructive Areas of evaluation: Entrepreneurs 2 Executive Summary Product idea Manage- ment team Marketing Business systems Implemen- tation plan Financing Overall impression feedback and recommendations to participants Points Nominations Feedback Risks Areas of evaluation: VCs 2 Management team Risks Business potential Financing potential 1 Top 25 teams are selected based on points (20 teams) and nominations (5 more teams) 2 Detailed on following pages and Innovation CTI 1

3 Jurors evaluate the business plans based on a given set of criteria (1/4) Executive Summary 1 2 pages Provides clear, compelling and concise overview of the project s most important aspects along the chapters of the document Raises interest of decision makers Product / service 2 4 pages Describes the features of the product/service and its benefits for target customers Explains current status and next steps of product/service development Describes patents/ip protection issues and potential solutions Management team 1 2 pages Outlines educational background and professional experience of founders Highlights competencies of team members Describes how skill gaps can be closed in the future Convinces potential investors that the team unites managerial and technological expertise and Innovation CTI 2

4 Jurors evaluate the business plans based on a given set of criteria (2/4) Marketing 6 8 pages Business system 2 3 pages Provides thorough understanding of markets and competitors Market size Market growth Overall competition Determines segmentation and selection of target markets Market segmentation Selection of target segment Positioning of product vis-à-vis competition Estimate of market share Outlines planned marketing and sales activities (e.g. using four Ps framework) Outlines what parts of the value chain are covered by the project Details make or buy decisions Describes necessary partnerships Discusses organizational issues and Innovation CTI 3

5 Jurors evaluate the business plans based on a given set of criteria (3/4) Implementation plan 1 2 pages Describes the most important activities and milestones for the development of the business Highlights the interdependence of milestones and activities on critical path Financing 4 6 pages Presents plausible financial forecasts including base/worst/best case scenarios for income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement Outlines plausible liquidity planning and forecasts on capital requirements Outlines deal proposal for investors Opportunities and risks 2 3 pages Describes specific opportunities Identifies and assess risks (e.g. quantification with sensitivity analysis) Develops suitable countermeasures against risks and Innovation CTI 4

6 Jurors evaluate the business plans based on a given set of criteria (4/4) In addition to the sections management team and opportunities and risks mentioned above, jurors with the profile Venture Capitalist rate the following two dimensions: Business potential Attractive market and product potential for investors Robust business concept Sound growth and profit potential Financial potential Adequate investment attractiveness Reasonable returns and exit strategies for investors Suitable quality of deal proposals and Innovation CTI 5

7 Deep Dive: Writing the section on Marketing / Finance and Innovation CTI 6

8 There are 3 essential steps to undertake for a good marketing strategy 1 Overall market potential and Segmentation and selection of competition 2 target market 3 Determine your marketing strategy Overall market size Overall market growth Number of potential customers Number of units sold Total potential sales in CHF Market growth during the last five years Forecast for the next five years Most important current and potential competitors Strategy of competitors SWOT 1 analysis Segmentation Selection of target segment Overall competition Positioning in target segment Estimate market share in target segment Meaningful grouping of potential customers (e.g., with similar needs, attitudes and behavior) Match between offered product/service and customer needs Financial attractiveness and growth potential of the segments? Differentiation from competition Development of market share and sales volume Customers per segment Product Price Place Promotion Product meets relevant needs of customers in the selected segments Adjustment of product to each target segment Pricing strategy Objectives of pricing strategy Market penetration Skimming How are customers reached Potential outsourcing of distribution Means of communication (advertising, direct marketing, etc.) "Unique Selling Proposition 1 Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats and Innovation CTI 7

9 Similarly, the financial section can be structured into three pillars Financial 1 projections 1 2 Financial planning 3 Deal proposal for investors Plausible revenue model Detailed income statement forecast (for 5 years) Balance sheet forecast (for 5 years) Cash flow statement forecast (for 5 years and detailed for first 24 months) Underlying assumptions and comments Capital needs resulting from projected cash flows Planned financing rounds Usage of funds Current shareholder structure and funding history Investor shares for each financing round IRR 2 for investors Exit strategy 1 For teams in start-up phase we advise to show also historical / actual financials 2 Internal rate of return and Innovation CTI 8

10 Back-up and Innovation CTI 9

11 Besides the evaluation on a points scale, jurors can nominate teams to increase chances for the Top 25 Feedback Juror feedback constitutes a valuable part of the»venture» experience for the teams. Constructive and critical feedback helps teams to further develop their business plan Points Jurors rate each area of the business plan on a scale from 0 to 9: 9 = outstanding, complete 8 = very good 7 = primarily very good 6 = partly good, partly very good 5 = good (midst of scale) 4 = partly good; partly acceptable, some gaps 3 = partly acceptable, gaps 2 = mostly unacceptable, significant gaps 1 = clearly unacceptable 0 = not discussed Nominations Jurors nominate up to 2 teams as potential winners 1 1 Top 25 teams are selected based on points (20 teams) and number of nominations (5 more teams) and Innovation CTI 10

12 1 The overall market needs to be assessed in terms of size, growth and competition Market size Key questions Number of (potential) customers? Number of units sold? Total sales in CHF in productrelevant areas? Hints Analyze total market size and each segment Possible sources: investment banking reports, official statistical bureaus, specialist associations, specialist journals, your own survey Market growth In the last five years? Forecast for the next five years? Forecasts regarding market growth need to be realistic and understandable Competitive environment Most important current competitors? Their market share? Their strategy? Their strengths and weaknesses? Potential new competitors? Can our business idea be copied? How quickly? What are possible substitute products? An attractive market is ideally characterized by Few competitors High entry barriers No (foreseeable) substitute products Many equally good suppliers Many potential customers and Innovation CTI 11

13 2 Within overall market, attractive segments need to be identified and approached Segment the market Choose target market Position yourself against competitors Estimate market share and sales volume Key questions How to meaningfully group potential customers with similar needs? Which customer needs will our product primarily satisfy? Which customers/customer groups are especially financially attractive? How is our offer differentiated from the competition? What additional benefits does our product offer? What share of market and what sales can we probably achieve with our customers? How many customers can we Reach in each target segment? Convert from the competition? How will our market share and sales develop over time? Hints Segmentation is possible, e.g., by industry, geography, purchasing power, intensity of customer needs Segmentation should be simple and feasible Get to know extremely well the markets that you can serve with your products Set yourself the target of dominating first a part of the market, in order to later expand into neighboring segments Possible additional benefits: easier to use, greater safety, etc. Be aware of the non-linear market penetration dynamic Be aware of the 6-12 month delay in the sales process for expensive products (B2B) and Innovation CTI 12

14 3 Target segments need to be served with orchestrated marketing strategy based on the 4P s (1/2) Product Key questions Does our product meet the relevant needs of customers in the selected target segments? Do we want to adjust our product to each target segment? Hints Customer needs can be defined along three dimensions Functional level: product attributes, value, quality, etc. Process level: user-friendly transactions, easy access, etc. Relationship level: personal service, loyalty program, etc. Price What price can we ask for the product? What objective are we following with our price strategy? Market penetration: quick penetration with low price? Skimming: fewer customers at a high price in order to later gradually expand the target segment? There are three approaches to pricing Market price Costs plus margin Customer benefit as basis (valuebased) Customer benefit is ideal as a basis, costs plus margin is not recommended As a rule, start-ups use the skimming strategy, as higher prices can be justified by an innovative product Avoid price wars! and Innovation CTI 13

15 3 Target segments need to be served with orchestrated marketing strategy based on the 4P s (2/2) Place Promotion 1 One-time sales argument Key questions How do we want to reach the customer with our product? Do we want to outsource distribution or do it ourselves? With which means of communication do we want to convey the advantages of our product to customers? (advertising, direct marketing, PR, trade fairs, visits to customers, etc.) Is our "Unique Selling Proposition 1 precise, brief (two lines) and formulated from the customer's perspective? Hints Possible criteria for selecting the distribution channel: number of potential customers, companies vs. private individuals, need to explain the product; upper vs. lower price segment Sales focus changes with time: Convince the first five customers through outstanding service Convince the next fifty customers with your first five references Convince other customers through segment-specific standardization Focus your energies on fewer but more effective means Calculate how much advertising you can allow for each sales completion Differentiate between Users Technically-focused buyers (e.g., IT dept.) Economically-focused buyers (e.g., CFO). Note: an economically focused buyer has the last word on the budget! and Innovation CTI 14

16 For further information please refer to our supporting material Recommended book (in German only) Presentations and video of founder knowledge seminar on Marketing (and other topics): Available for CHF Shipment or at Amazon, buch.ch, Orell-Füssli, and others Further reading: Richard Stutely: The Definitive Business Plan: The fast-track to intelligent business planning for executives and entrepreneurs (Financial Times Series), 2nd edition, 2002 (available in English, French) Guy Kawasaki: The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything, Kindle Edition, 2004 (available in English) 15 and Innovation CTI 15

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