Creating an Appendix
Here you can put all the detail supplemental information that supports all the different points that you have been making. So it's possible that people might not even read it for detail, but you should be able to include the most important core elements of your plan and what I mean by detailed is where you need more charts and numbers and probably a little bit of a longer list on specific details. That's what the appendix is for. You don't want the document to be so expansive at the beginning that you will lose the audience. And when you think about the appendix, here are the type of information that you would include. Recall one of the first steps that we talked about is the market analysis, doing a SWAT, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis. You would include that, the specific information about your market and charts and statistics, you could include that here. The detailed financial information, so you would include here perhaps all the years of the PNL and th...
e cash flow or balance sheets that you have for your business and if available, if not available you would include the estimates for sure. And then finally your marketing plan in the marketing budget details is something that will be connected to expenses to run your business so you would include the detailed plan here and you can expand in terms of the target that you're going after, how many of them you're reaching, the media plan, all those specifics can be included almost as the detailed action plan in the appendix chart. So here we are. We have successfully gone through all the different steps of your robust business plan, but now you need to go on and answer all those questions step by step so that you can have basically one to nine populated and really have a robust document that articulates what makes you special, what makes you worth investing, how your business is run, and how is it that you want to engage with a specific investor. Now I would also tell you that if you want to build a business plan just for yourself, all these sections apply so the difference is whether you're seeking a funding request or not when you're talking to an investor. Again, the business plan is your own blueprint of all the different components that you need to get right, that strategy that you need to execute with excellence in order to achieve your ultimate goals for your business. So before you go and run with the template and start filling out the questions, I wanna also leave you with five final tips to know whether you'll have really achieved writing a robust business plan. So these are tips, think of them as a checklist that I want you to keep in mind once you have the first draft of your business plan to see if you have been able to capture the most important pieces of it and if it will be compelling to get that investor that you want, the partner that you want, or be even clear on what you need to go out there to do with your business. So the first tip is that the business plan that we talked needs to read clearly and as a story. Every section and as a whole should read as a document that was put together by the same person that is for the same business and it needs to be easy to follow and memorable, and I think you might need to be able to work on a few drafts to achieve this level of cohesiveness between the sections and it's very common to get feedback on it so you should look at it a few times, you should share it with advisors or people that mentor you in your business building process or even experts because it's not a stale document, it's a live document that you should be updating and editing as your business evolves and also as you get feedback. So first, it needs to read clearly and as a story. It serves as a blueprint to manage your business and again this is where you could make a difference whether you just leave this as a one-time document that you print for a meeting or if it actually becomes a tool to help you increase your success. The document is something you should be able to update, drive action on, you can adjust the assumptions, and you can even use to track your business. So it should really become one of the key tools that you use to operate your day-in, day-out and also bring other people along as you explain how your business is run. So use it as a blueprint and when you've done it right and you have filled out all the different sections, it should feel as such. It motivates your key stakeholders to invest. Again, the business plan if you're using it to gather investors or partnership is a document that is intended to attract other people to invest in you. So if you do a great job with it, you should get the phone call back or the meeting or other way to investing in you, 'cause it's a document that should drive action. So look for what are the different ways in which you are telling the story, in which you make each section as robust as possible, in which your growth potential and information that you include is really compelling in terms of your ability to be worthy of investment to continue to grow your business. It has to be exciting but realistic and again, people will see whether the numbers that you include are well validated, if you did your research, if you know your industry, and whether you're just not being thorough enough in terms of how you're looking at your business. So you have to be exciting and there are sections in the document that will serve a particular role to do that for example, the vision, the marketing strategy, your goals, that is when you're really painting the future, but for example, having the financials and having the numbers in there will very quickly put things into context on what is the type of growth and what is going to cost you to achieve that growth really look like. So it's important to keep things exciting but realistic, specifically when we're talking about the goals and the plan that you're promising. Is it on point for your audience, and yes, we went through several questions and some of them might not be applicable to your business or maybe they all are. So you will have plenty of space in your templates to populate, edit, move things around, but the key is that the ultimate product if you're using it actually for a meeting or investment or to share with others should be short, to the point for the audience and you should really make a point of understanding what is the audience that you're trying to reach if it's for yourself, if it's other people that you're trying to gather support. So you need to communicate exactly what is needed to be interested in the business and drive action, nothing more. You can always provide more data on the appendix as I shared or upon request. So don't make this a document that's too lengthy to go through because you will lose the audience. So you have to be very assertive in the information that you include so I would start long in terms as you exercise, you're filling it out but make sure that you're consolidating specifically if this is a document that you intend to share. So these are my five tips for success and again use it as a checklist as you go through step one to nine, answering your questions in your template. With this, you should be all set. You should really be able to create a robust, ultimate business plan for your business, focusing on answering the questions, each section, it will give you great insight about your business and what you need to do to set it up for success. Make sure it hangs together, don't forget to write the executive summary at the end which is the summary of all the hard work that you put into the eight steps and that you will be on your way on having a solid business plan that not only helps you but also becomes a roadmap for success and brings others along and gets the investors that you need to accomplish your ultimate goals. So thank you.