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Business Plan Sanity Check: The Basics Nobody Told You About

        posted by , September 13, 2011

Don't let complex balanced scorecards fool you: there are only two criteria for evaluating a business plan:

1. Attractiveness of Vision
2. Ability to Execute

Nothing else matters. Before submitting a business plan do a quick sanity check: does the plan resonate on these two points?

Attractiveness of Vision

This is the optimistic part of your plan: the part that gets your prospective investors excited.

Ideally, you have discovered a large untapped market whose time has come. The bottom line here is to convince investors that:

- a market opportunity exists
- the timing is right
- financial incentives are appealing relative to risks

Ability to Execute

This is the realistic part of your plan: the part that convinces your prospective investors that you are the ideal team to realize the vision.

Ideally, you have invested enough in the business already to prove your abilities. The key here is to convince investors that you:

- have the right team and connections
- have solid marketing and operational capabilities
- enjoy a unmatched competitive advantage

Scorecard Example

A business plan scorecard needn't be more complex than the example below.

business case scorecard

A plan has to score well in both vision and execution to pass (it doesn't matter if you have an interesting vision but can't execute or vica versa).

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