Do investors want to read business plans, or do they just want you to wow them with a dynamic pitch? And can you have one without the other?
These days you hear a lot of talk about how the business plan isn’t necessary. And maybe the pitch is what gets you in the door, but as Sabrina Parsons wrote recently at ForbesWoman:
“How in the world can you pitch, and how in the world can you know what to pitch, if you don’t do all the research involved in a plan? Everything you need to include in a pitch deck comes from the research and financials you would do if you were writing a plan.”
Sabrina goes on to say that it’s not that everyone needs to write a detailed, 30-page, printed and bound standard business plan. But the process of planning itself — doing the research, understanding how changing assumptions effect your plan, creating realistic forecasts — prepares you not just to produce a great pitch, but a great business. She writes:
“The more information you can gather and understand about your business and how it relates to your market, competition, pricing, bottom line, and cash, the more successful you are likely to be.”