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  • Print publication year: 2013
  • Online publication date: June 2014

8 - Business Plans, Presentations, and Letters

Summary

The road to success is always under construction.

Arnold Palmer, famous golfer

Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Accordingly a genius is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework.

Thomas Edison

Entrepreneur’s Diary

Launching your business beyond the friends and family stage will require you to rewrite your business plan, probably for the umpteenth time! I will guarantee you one thing: the circle of professional acquaintances that you had thought might invest in your company … well, most won’t … and the ones who do invest, will have a lot of advice for you, and probably more than you want! Advice can be a good thing, but when one investor says, “Go right,” and the next investor says, “Go left,” you’ll likely find yourself wondering which direction is correct. But, you must do something!

I have been pretty successful in raising capital for my start-ups. My business plans were a critical component of my successful fundraising. Were they perfect? No, but these plans raised money! In fact, one of the VC investors said several times that she thought my business plan for my aquaculture tilapia start-up was one of the best business plans she had ever read. Her VC firm required a supporting partner (a proponent was required before this venture firm would make an investment) to make a personal investment in any company that is submitted to the VC group for consideration. After the initial acceptance, the tilapia business several years later ended up under new management and despite the earlier VC’s praise for the original plan, one of the first objectives of the new management team was to write a “really good” business plan. My “best she’d read” plan got tossed out the window. What does this tell you?