What does Sequoia Capital want in a business plan? I’m quoting exactly from a post:

Laurel Papworth – Sequoia’s ToDo list for entrepreneurs:

Take a look at this business plan outline:

Company Purpose

  • Define the company/business in a single declarative sentence.

Problem

  • Describe the pain of the customer (or the customer’s customer).
  • Outline how the customer addresses the issue today.

Solution

  • Demonstrate your company’s value proposition to make the customer’s life better.
  • Show where your product physically sits.
  • Provide use cases.

Why Now

  • Set-up the historical evolution of your category.
  • Define recent trends that make your solution possible.

Market Size

  • Identify/profile the customer you cater to.
  • Calculate the TAM (top down), SAM (bottoms up) and SOM.

Competition

  • List competitors
  • List competitive advantages

Product

  • Product line-up (form factor, functionality, features, architecture, intellectual property).
  • Development roadmap.

Business Model

  • Revenue model
  • Pricing
  • Average account size and/or lifetime value
  • Sales & distribution model
  • Customer/pipeline list

Team

  • Founders & Management
  • Board of Directors/Board of Advisors

Financials

  • P&L
  • Balance sheet
  • Cash flow
  • Cap table
  • The deal

The original post also includes a list of the elements of sustainable companies which Sequoia Capital seeks when evaluating opportunities.

— Tim

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Tim BerryTim Berry
Tim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.