We were asked last week from multiple people to give some general advice. Here it is:
All of these points can be included, you could choose to only use some if you like. It depends on your business plan or whitepaper. This is just a summary of possible items you can include within your document in no specific order.
In General, be careful with statements which are based on limited research on your part. For example, “we are the first company to do this.” This statement is dangerous, it is not possible for you to conduct such a diligent search to know that there is another company which is doing something similar or the same ( e.g. probably some company in another country does the same and you did not catch it as the information is provided in a foreign language). If some statement like this would be found, it could lead to full release of the bounty.
Only say you guarantee something if it is true. If so, please provide examples or evidence with the guarantee. An example of a situation like this is that you make a guarantee that 10 million will be given, backed by insurance, to investors if the CEO dies.
Also it is given that forward looking statements are based on assumptions. It is much safer to write “we aim” or “our goal is to reach 10%” instead of an absolute statement like “we will”.
It is good practice in business plan to not rely on your own research but as well on 3rd party research. You must mention where you got this research. It will increase credibility and show that you can provide references.
All in all, please be honest. You want trust, trust is built by being transparent. When people find out a secret or wrongdoing, trust is dramatically reduced. If a pattern of this behavior is found, claims can be filed.
Description of ownership or contractual relationships necessary for different parts of the business models
• Proof of ownership for all assets involved
• Proof of licensing, right use if third party assets are involved (exclusive, non-exclusive use duration)
Legal requirements and proof of compliance.
• Type of enterprise (LLC, INC, etc.)
• Exemption filing for capital raise or other necessary documents
• Necessary certification (if not obtained proof of filing to obtain such certification or any other proof that shows that the certifications are currently in pursuit
• What sets your business apart
• What is the market size/s (proof with links)
• Who are the competitors
Firms operational structure
• Who is doing what and prove that they are able to-do so
• Prove that those people mentioned are on board
Use of funds
• For what the money is used in detail
• What is the deadline for funding
• What happens if some money is not obtained in a timely manner
• Provable milestones to release more money. How do you intend to prove that the milestone was met
Disclosure of all risks and how you try to mitigate the risk
• How is your brand setting itself apart?
• How is the distribution chain controlled to the end user?
• What are the steps to market and foster business relationships?
o Method of approach, direct sale, conferences (including schedule and cost )
o Website and social marketing (legal regulations in marketing product)
How your firm is using technology to gain competitive advantage ?
• Track record (past successes)
• Command structure and ownership
• Hard cash invested provable if necessary through bank statements. We don’t expect you to publish your bank statements.
• Past revenue numbers provable through bank statements or tax returns
• Compensation of executives and major employees
• Financial forecast (detailed description of the methodology used ( stated what is an assumption what is backed up through public available data )
• How and when will the investor get paid
• Rights of the investor (to control compensation of other owners and rules against future dilution of the investors property)
This list is only indication of what a business plan would be beneficial to include but there is also other information which would be good to include. These are just tips, you could include more or other points. It is up to discussion if you think there are other items that should be mentioned in business plans, please reply with those items.