This isn’t mine, but I wish it were because it’s done very well and I agree with all of it. These are the seven deadly sins of business plans, from Stephen Fleming on Academic VC:
- Insist on a nondisclosure agreement upfront.
- Focus on the technology—not the market, the competition and the customers.
- Practice top-down sales forecasting.
- Use four significant digits everywhere.
- Position investors as necessary-but-unpleasant “mushrooms.” (He adds: Keep them in the dark and feed them plenty of… um, manure).
- Fill your plan with typos, errors, “chartjunk,” 3D graphs and repetition.
- Expect to be acquired by Cisco or Google.
Don’t settle for my quick summary, read the source, which is Academic VC: “Raising Capital: Part 09.” It’s right on point, on target and well worth reading. Fleming obviously knows this area very well.
And when you read it, you’ll notice that this is part 9 of an 11-part (so far) series on raising capital. It may be the best of the series, but not necessarily; there are some other very good pieces.
If you’re looking to raise capital, read every word in the series.