May 14, 2009

What’s a business plan worth these days?! More than GM stock!

Filed under: Start-up First Aid — Administrator @ 9:35 am

I guess I’m being lazy these days and just borrowing content from other sites but so be it. This morning, I was reading the New York Times and came across an article titled “Investors Pay Business Plans Little Heed, Study Finds” by Brent Bowers. The article reads:

Researchers found that venture capitalists, who screen hundreds or thousands of solicitations each year, pay little or no heed to the content of business plans. Instead, the study said, because they make decisions “under conditions of high uncertainty,” venture capitalists rely on instinct and their expertise in ferreting out information by other means to evaluate the prospects of a business.

I’m not sure this is entirely true, at least within confides of our fund. Don’t get me wrong, no one wants to page through 50 pages of rambling market analysis and financials however what we are interested in is the entrepreneur’s logic and thought process. Furthermore, we want to see what the expected milestones are for success and how the company expects to spent our cash

All of the above can be mapped out in 10 to 11 PPT slides. In fact, just use the template we provide here.

More to our point, KPMG, in 2008, polled regional investment managers in Asia and asked them what were the top four causes of deal underperformance – the results: (1) misleading historical performance data, (2) over-0ptimistic market forecasts, (3) misreading the target’s existing and potential market penetration, and (4) poor business plan.

Anyhow, writing a business plan is a good exercise even if it is just an excel spread sheet that clearly maps out business assumptions.

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