Sequoia Capital has a good post on a simple, but comprehensive list of things they look for in a business plan. Meanwhile, as a handy toolkit, I regularly revisit a simple four-dimension checklist of a startup.
2PM – People, Product, Market, Money.
The priority among the dimensions shifts depending the stage of your business. Think of it as a juggling, instead of a one-way flow. You don’t want to dwell on a single dimension for too long, and other balls might fall out of your hands.
Anyway, the list:
- People: a world-class team (at least in your sector). a team with a solid insight, experience, and set of shared values (perseverance + smart goes a long way)
- Market: define the right problem to solve. which should be big enough (market size) and growing. there are two sub-dimensions to the market dimension: one is the market/customer’s problem, and the other is distribution. how are we going to get there?
- Product: now, the solution. is it good enough? does the quality ooze out? what is the existing behavior that your solution will be replacing? how competitive will it be over the long run? what’s the core user narrative?
- Money: do you have the right revenue model that can break even (at least). do you have the right capital/funding to reach that point?
It’s a simple, but handy list to play around with. Hope this helps!