The Addictive Business Plan

Dave Lavinsky

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While the average business plan ranges from twenty to thirty pages in length, on average, investors only read one page of each business plan they receive. Obviously, for a business plan to receive funding, investors have to be encouraged to read the entire business plan, and then take additional action such as setting up a meeting with the company’s management.

In figuring out how to get investors to read more than the first page of a business plan, soap operas quickly came to mind. Soap operas are very effective in getting viewers to keep watching over time. They do this by making their content addictive. That is, they have cliff hanger episodes, they pique the interest of viewers, and they make viewers eager to learn what will happen next. By making their business plans addictive, ventures entice investors to want to learn more and best position themselves to reap an investment.

So how do you make a business plan addictive? They key is to bring up, in the Executive Summary, exciting factors regarding why the venture is a great investment opportunity and then further substantiate each of these factors in the remainder of the plan. Such factors include how and why your company is unique; why you have a sustainable competitive advantage; why market trends support your vision; why your exit strategy will provide a significant return to investors; and why management is uniquely qualified to execute on the opportunity among others.

Developing an addictive business plan is often the difference between a plan that gets pushed aside after one page and one that investors review thoroughly and act upon. As such, it is critical to make the plan addictive. Going back to the soap opera analogy, keep in mind however that investors are much more sophisticated than the average soap opera viewer. As such, the addiction must not be based on fluff, but solid information about the investment opportunity.

Since its inception, Growthink Business Plans & Business Planning has developed over 300 business plans. Growthink clients have collectively raised over $750 million in financing, launched numerous new product and service lines and gained competitive advantage and market share. Growthink has become the firm of choice for venture capital firms, angel investors, corporations and entrepreneurs in the know and offers Business Planning, Venture Research and Venture Capital Services.


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