Use The ‘Business Cube’ For Your Business Plan

01 Jun 2020 | 07.44 am

Use The ‘Business Cube’ For Your Business Plan

Advice from Shane O'Hanlon in InterTradeIreland

01 Jun 2020 | 07.44 am

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Even during these uncertain times, investors are still out there, looking for businesses to invest in. You need to show them what makes you different and why they should play a part in your success, writes Shane O’Hanlon of InterTradeIreland.

Attracting equity investors requires an accurate understanding of what the investor is looking for, and this is why the business plan is key.

InterTradeIreland offer a range of funding supports to help start-ups and early stage businesses get investor ready. Their pitching masterclasses, business planning workshops, regional equity advisory clinics and Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition offer first-hand insight and advice from experts and real-life investors.

The objective of a business plan is to raise money. You have to convince a potential investor that your business is a worthwhile investment. InterTradeIreland advise entrepreneurs to use the Business Cube, a business planning tool, to structure their business plan. The model has proven to be successful for many companies that have gone through their highly coveted Seedcorn Competition.

Business Cube Methodology

The Business Cube is a simple and intuitive tool that outlines the key information components that investors look for when evaluating investment opportunities. It is a useful guide for start-ups, helping to address key issues in which potential investors will express greatest interest.

Reflecting the components of the Business Cube, business plans should be structured as follows:

1.   Executive Summary
2.   Business Overview
3.   Market Opportunity
4.   Industry & Competition
5.   Product or Service Proposition
6.   Marketing Plan
7.   Management Team
8.   Operations
9.   Key Risks
10. Financial Plan
11. Funding
12. Exit Strategy
13. Summary
14. Schedules
15. Appendices

To download your free Business Cube planning tool, click here

The guide will provide you with simple recommendations regarding the specific content for each of the sections outlined above and how to determine how much weighting should be afforded to each.

Hints and tips when writing your business plan

• Pay particular attention to presentation – first impressions are important. Approximately 95% of business plans are rejected, often because their presentation lets them down.
• Be frank – if you misrepresent something, the astute reader will see through it and will not be impressed.
• Make every effort to sustain the reader’s attention from start to finish.
• Ensure the logic, proposals and assumptions are consistent throughout your business plan.
• Do not underestimate the time taken between presenting the business plan and receiving the required finance. Depending on the type of finance required, the delay could be anything from a few weeks to several months.

Enter the 2020 Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition

As mentioned above, the Seedcorn Competition helps businesses become ‘investor ready’. The competition, aimed at early and new start companies, mirrors the real-life investment process and ultimately helps start-ups achieve their commercial potential. This year, there is a total cash prize fund of €280,000 up for grabs.

The closing date for applications is 1pm on Friday 29 May 2020. Find out more at intertradeireland.com/seedcorn.

For more information on equity support and services available from InterTradeIreland, click here

 

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