Creating an Instant Business Plan

by Feb 9, 2022

If you’ve been following along our startup-help exercises, you’re ready to create an instant business plan!

An instant business plan isn’t a fully fleshed-out business model canvas like the one you would develop in an accelerator program. This short plan will take you just 25-30 minutes to lay out. It provides a simple, high-level view of your concept’s viability:

  • Is there enough market out there to support your business?
  • Are you able to articulate the opportunity?
  • How will you mitigate risk?

A good instant business plan lays the foundation for creating a strong executive summary and a great pitch deck, which we’ll discuss in later posts.  

Elements of an Instant Business Plan

The nice thing about an “Instant” Business Plan is that you’ve already done a lot of the pre-work! What you need to do now is articulate what you’ve learned, what your business idea is now that you better understand your customer, and what the revenue models are. Later, when you build your business in more detail, you can develop a more detailed business plan. For now, you just need a way to identify how you are beginning to build a business.

Think of this first “Instant Business Plan” as a prototype that you can iterate as you learn more. Following are the components to include. If you’ve been completing our startup help series, you will have already gathered or completed most of them (see links for the corresponding post and exercise).

  • Our customer is [customer POV statement]
  • We learned [top interview/prototype insights]
  • We see an opportunity to [the need/problem]
  • Our solution is [business/product/service]
  • We make money by [revenue model]
  • We will acquire our first customers in these three ways [i.e. marketing, social media, talking to them in person, etc.]
  • The number of potential customers is [the market size]
  • This is a $____ opportunity [potential customers x what you charge, based on market analysis]
  • Our competition includes [do a little research]
  • But our competitive advantage is [e.g., your team, your expertise, your technical skills, your domain experience, your product innovation]
  • Our key next steps are [name 3 BIG things you need to do to be successful]

Take half an hour to complete these prompts, and you’ve got your instant business plan! In our next post, we’ll explain how to write an executive summary.