Questions

How important is it for a two month old startup to have a business plan and/or financial projections when seeking seed from angel investors?

Many investors suggest the entrepreneur should have these handy just in case they get asked to provide, some investors look at the business plans and projections as a sanity check and others advice to simply focus on the pitch deck.

7answers

I vehemently disagree. I would recommend not following-up with any angel investor who asks you for a business plan. You yourself should be able to credibly articulate how you envision the next 12 months unfolding and especially how you intend on spending the money you raise, but that's about it.

Financial projections for a two-month old startup are an even bigger waste of time. You want to be clear on the spend side but basically, the most you could have figured out is a working assumption on the customer acquisition cost.


Answered 6 years ago

it is always a good idea to draw some financial projections just for yourself as a founder, as a way of having a path to controlling your time spent and cash spent as well.

While seed investors might be investing in you more than financial projections, it is not a bad idea to have even a preliminary financial plan that shows where this startup can potentially grow. Most of these early financial projections get refined as you learn lessons on your product development costs, your launch costs, your rate of customer acquisition and overall stickiness.

Give me a call. I've helped and mentored many founders prepare early financial projections that helped them to, not only raise seed funding, but to also challenge their own business model.


Answered 6 years ago

Don't think if a BP as just a big set of spreadsheets - I agree those are probably worthless, but MUCH more important is how you will generate leads and close business. As an investor that's what I want to see. That as well as your cost to acquire a customer. I also want to see how you will position yourself in the marketplace and differentiate yourself from your competitors. For example, I want to see if you will compete via products, price, or the type of relationship you will have with your customers. I want to know if you are a BUSINESS PERSON or a product inventor who wants to be in business.


Answered 6 years ago

A startup plan defines your thinking and judgement! It clearly communicates five elements: your Idea, its Benefit and Target, your desired Perception and Reward. A Cash Flow projection shows how you will make this come to life. Say it all in four pages or less.


Answered 6 years ago

It's only important for the investors to whom it's important. In my experience the more hoops you're asked to jump through by an investor, the less likely that investor is to invest. Creating a business plan is a good exercise though, and worth carving out time for as an exercise in planning and projection. But for very early stage startups, so much is going to change that a demand for a sophisticated, detailed plan doesn't really make that much sense. I'm all for results first.


Answered 6 years ago

Most firms are not able to create enough wealth to pay the going rate for angel capital, more than 10 time capital invested, and leave an equal amount for themselves and those in the firm.
What basis do you have for thinking your firm would be an exception? Have you received a Critical Factors Analysis profile from the CIC at Waterloo?


Answered 6 years ago

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