Business Planning Quality not Quantity Don’t Cut and Paste Format clearly Do proper Market Research Explore new business models Make sure ALL the team have worked on the project Complete Realistic Financials (take care of sales numbers) Very Few Business’s make a profit straight away
Typical Content of a Business Plan Table of ContentsContact DetailsCompany InformationExecutive SummaryPromoters and TeamProduct and Service DetailsMarketMarketing PlanSales PlanOperation of BusinessExpenditure and Related FinancingManpower PlanFinancial Projections and SummariesAppendices
Attributes of a Successful Opportunity NicheGrowthIP Specific Market and Technical Knowledge Required Management and Planning Skills Customers Easily Identified Research and Development Required People Cash-Flow Exit Strategy Defined
How Innovative is your Proposal? What is the ‘problem’ that you see with the current product/service offering in the marketplace? What is your ‘solution’ to this ‘problem’?What is the ‘underlying magic’ to your solution? How do you intend to commercialise your solution and ‘underlying magic’?
Tips for your Marketing Plan Base your plan on the most accurate and most current information available. Document your information. Your claims about market growth or competitor response should be supported by realistic and verifiable information. Who are your competitors?Why will you be ‘better’ than your competitors?Are you focused on customers and customers’ needs?Can you provide testimonials?
Tips for Doing Research ‘Tailor’ your research efforts and activities to your needs. Don't be overwhelmed by all the information out there—stay focused on finding the information you need for your business venture. Provide the info on the markets you will be serving first Document your sources. Good record keeping at the research stage will pay off in the short and long term. Remember that the world changes. Document both Primary & Secondary ResearchPrimary is ‘better’ than secondary.‘Quality’ is ‘better’ than ‘Quantity’!
Tips for Your Financial Plan A business has to have a healthy cash flow to survive, and has to have the long-term potential for profitability—otherwise, why do it? Do you have a clearly defined ‘Business Model’? How will you make money from commercialising this innovative proposal? Pay close attention to cash planning. Although most people think of profits first, cash flow can be more important for a start-up venture. Do the majority of the ‘number crunching’ yourself. Even if you are not a numbers person and have expert advice, get in there and do the work of building a cash flow statement. Don't plan on overburdening the business with too much debt. Debt can seem attractive— ready cash!—but too much debt can weigh down a company's ability to grow. Provide Projected Financial Statements – monthly Year 1 and quarterly for Years 2 & 3.
Summary Business Planning is a process as well as a written document.Not all business plans follow the same ‘structure’. The ‘Test’ of a Business Plan - does the Business Plan adequately address all of the issues for the purpose for which it was prepared? Reviewed a ‘sample Plan’. Write the plan in the ‘3 rd Person’. Don’t go ‘overboard’ with costly presentation - The person reading your plan may ask for a word or PDF document to be transmitted electronically. Business Planning problems can be minimised through active engagement in the process. The financial plan is a critical section of your business plan because it translates all the other parts of the business (the opportunity, the operating plan, the marketing plan, the management team) into anticipated financial results. Cash is King!
Pitching Present your idea in a clear manner such that it is easily understoodProvide a Prototype or Drawing of your idea and allow the panel to see itAgree who is to present: Allow the different experts to present but make sure it does not become disjointedDecide before hand who will answer what questions. Look like you have worked together as a team Avoid complex presentations which need a web click in or a movie to run in it (End with these so that the panel can see them at their leisure) Dress for the occasion, but don’t look like you borrowed the Dad’s suitIf you don’t have an answer don’t bluffIf you have a large team make sure everyone has a role in the presentationStick to the time given, you will not be allowed to continue if you run out of timeChoose your first slide carefully: this will grab their attention or put them to sleep
Expression of Interest Fill out expression of interest form (EOI http://www.cit.ie/innovation-week/cit-prize-for-innovation/www.cit.ie/innovation-week/cit-prize-for-innovation Deadline: 15th November 2013 Business Plan Submit business plan template Deadline: Monday 24 th February 2014, before 12.30pm Short-list announced Week beginning Monday 3 rd March 2014 Interview – Q&A Session Upstairs in Administration Building Thursday 13 th March 2014 Innovation Day Nexus Centre- exhibition of team stands and award ceremony. Friday 14th March 2014 Documentation All documentation will be available online at: http://www.cit.ie/innovation-week/cit-prize- for-innovation/www.cit.ie/innovation-week/cit-prize- for-innovation Application Process