MECHANICS OF CREATING A BUSINESS PLAN FOR A LEAN STARTUPSanthosh Ramanujam
Everyone, who is either starting a business or is already into business, needs a business plan. A business plan is in its simplest avatar a roadmap that outlines your goal and gives the details of how you are going to achieve that goal.
For startup businesses the business plan will need to be meaningful. For this it will need to have factors like the sales projection and the expense budget. It will have to indicate the milestones and the tasks.
The basic problem with startup businesses is that one does not have too many answers. For instance, one does not know how much money one will need and when one is going to need it. One will also need to lay out the other details of projected sales and costs as well as the expenses and the timing of the payments. But, without all these details how is one going to convince the investors and the banks or the friends and family who will need to be coaxed to part with the money for funding the new venture?
Therefore, for the startups the business plan has to be focused on the following:
What is the new company going to do
How is the company going to achieve its goals
Why are the founders just the right sort of people to do this job?
The details of the money that is going to be needed to get the business up and running.
A lean startup is a startup that has a rapid program of development. This kind of development, in simple terms, consists of a sequence of build and test and then revision. This leads to more testing and more strategy. The rationale behind this philosophy is that the cycle of testing and revision is just perfect for next-gen form of a business plan. The question is how to make a business plan for a lean startup.
There are some important guidelines for creating a business plan for a lean startup.
The business plan has to be simple and practical. It matters little whether it is in the Cloud or in a local area network or on an online app. It needs no frills such as executive summary or the management team. You are not talking about a sales brochure. The business plan must have:
The strategy and
the dates and
the deadlines besides
the basic projections and a
Review schedule necessary for
Revising and keeping the plan current.
Let your Business Plan Grow
Your business plan should grow up and outwards just like a tree. You can decide whether the strategy should be at the core or the sales forecast. It is up to you to create your tree in a way that fits the personality of the team.
The entire game is about introducing your plan and testing it while checking out your assumptions. Things will not go the way you thought they would. You will need to steer your plan. But, you will have to stay on top of your business plan all the time making the necessary adjustments.
You will need to match the agility in development with rapidity in planning and putting the new plan to the test. So the formula is simple. Plan-build-revise-plan again.
Finally, the business plan for a lean startup has to be reactive but with a quick response. There will be a constant need to keep steering with fine changes but within the overall business plan.
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