We don’t like wasting much if any time on business plans; we don’t care for wasting a lot of time on startup pitches either. Neither a good business plan or a great pitch is going to be THE key to successful business, but it can be useful to organize one’s thoughts about a business to present ideas roughly in the format that others are expecting … it’s sort of like people expect a professional speaker to introduce what he’s going to tell them, then tell them in detail and then summarize them what he’s told them.

The following is a template blatantly plagiarized from Guy Kawasaki’s approach to the 10-20-30 startup pitch. It can be expanded into a business plan [if that becomes necessary].

Introduction

Insert 30-second elevator speech here and so that people know whether or not to read/listen to the rest of your presentation – do not try to appeal to everyone; appeal ONLY to those who can help you.

Need For Product/Service

What problem does this product/service solve better than anyone else? Describe your vision for how you have re-conceived of the customer use-case and why anyone will absolutely NEED YOUR product or service as soon as they find out your solution is available … if no one needs your product or service, move on to working on something that people simply cannot do without any longer.

Target Clients or Customers

Exactly WHO is the target? Explain your vision for this re-conceived target customer or client.

Technology and Methodology

What is the technology behind the product? What is the methodology for producing the product?

Industry Analysis

Demonstrate that you have thoroughly developed a network that extends throughout your industry?

Leadership Advantage

Beyond just your secret sauce, what is your leadership advantage in this space?

Marketing Plan

How do you use different avenues, primarily taking advantage of the Hootsuite platform to tell its STORY.

“There’s nothing wrong with a CEO who can sell, but if he actually looks like a salesman, he’s probably bad at sales and worse at tech.” Peter Thiel and Blake Masters (2014-09-16). Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future.

Management Analysis

Every single day we ask ourselves the seven key questions that every business must answer:

  • Timing Is NOW the right time to research OR plan OR develop OR launch OR scale OR pivot OR shelve your particular business idea?
  • Engineering What is the breakthrough technology or methodology you have created beyond just incremental improvements?
  • Monopoly Are you starting with a big share of a small market? How can you change your idea to be the ONLY good alternative?
  • People Do you have the right team? How can you get a better team? How will you develop your team to always be the best?
  • Distribution Do you have a way to not just create but produce, deliver, distribute, evangelize your product?
  • Durability How will your market position be defensible 10 and 20 years into the future? How will you defend your position?
  • Secret Have you identified a unique opportunity that others don’t see? What is the secret to how you found your secret?

The answers change a bit every single day. The management task for each day is basically a matter of working through the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats related to each of these seven big questions.

Financial Analysis

This business cash flows, but why should investors invest? Maybe they shouldn’t … finding investors is not necessarily the point, but financial analysis should convince others of the sustainability of the enterprise.

Summary—Call to Action

Solid businesses continually simplify and sharpening the focus their entire business by enlisting the support of key people who can advance the cause.