Business Plan Checklist

Use this checklist to complete the Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan outlined in Module 3 of Business Impact Accelerator© and discussed in Module 6, Fund Business Impact.

The Sustainable 10X Impact Business Plan is one of the key documents required of our Investment Readiness Check.

Business Plan Sections and Key Questions to Address:

Executive Summary

  • What is this plan all about and why should women and HeForShe investors care?

Think of an Executive Summary as the opening statements a trial lawyer would make to the judge and jury. In less than a page, you want to present the most relevant points of your plan and “make the case” for your 3X-in-10™ Revenue Sharing Offer. Be sure to point out the benefits and value you aim to create during the ten-year investment period.


Big Problem

  • What are the priority jobs, pains and gain of your customers? How did you determine and confirm these priorities?
  • What’s the real problem your enterprise is trying to solve? What’s the negative impact if this problem is not addressed?
  • How many customers do you plan to reach in the next ten years? What’s the depth of impact your enterprise aims to create in the lives of these customers?

You will find answers to these questions by completing the Activities and Deliverables in Modules 1 and 2 of Business Impact Accelerator. The last question in this section focuses on the breadth and depth of impact resulting from your scaling and growth plans.


Unique Solution

  • How does your value proposition canvas compare to competitors? How does it address high-value outcomes desired by customers in a cost-efficient manner?
  • How does your business model canvas create enduring social and economic value? How will it positively impact women?
  • What are your competitive advantages? How are you positioning your impact-driven brand against competitors focused only on maximizing short-term profit?
  • Can you describe the testing and validation process for your Sustainable 10X Impact Business Model? What metrics did you use to establish product-market fit? Is this customer traction strong enough to support a ten-year revenue sharing investment offer?

Modules 1 and 2 of Business Impact Accelerator will provide you with the tools to answer these questions in a clear and compelling fashion. In this section, you need to make the case for why someone should do business with you and what value and specific “benefits package” they would receive. You will also need to clearly describe how product-market fit was validated. This section provides an opportunity to tell investors that you have the loyal and profitable customer base necessary to fulfill terms of your 3X-in-10™ Revenue Sharing Promissory Note and Subscription Agreement.


Strategy for Scaling Impact

  • What is your team’s ten-year Vision of Sustainable 10X Impact? What Big Hairy Audacious Goal are you going to achieve? Why is this important to stakeholders?
  • What scaling and growth capital objectives did your team establish?
  • What has to happen for your enterprise to launch this impact scaling plan and grow sustainably after achieving “take-off” in 4–5 years?
  • What strategic metrics and projects did you select for the One Page Strategy Map and Plan? How are these related to your critical success factors?

In this section of the five-year plan, you will draw from work completed in Modules 2, 3, and 4 of Business Impact Accelerator. You will need to be transparent in describing how you intend to scale the positive impact of your enterprise. This will help women and HeForShe investors understand the growth capital requirements and budget you share in the last two sections of the plan. Do not generalize in this section. You want to show investors that you know how your enterprise will use their invested capital to scale and grow sustainably.


Marketing and Sales Strategy

  • Can you describe the personas of your customers and the journey they’re on?
  • How will you communicate your brand message to these customers and get in front of them to present your products, services or solutions?
  • What’s the system and process for helping customers work through their buying or purchasing journey? What evidence do you have this process works?

Modules 2, 3, and 4 of Business Impact Accelerator will help you develop, test, and validate your marketing and sales strategy. The last question is very important (“what evidence do you have this process works?”). Be sure to review the contents of Improve Customer Experiences and Simplify Internal Operations in Module 4. In these Activities, you’ll find resources to map the journey of your customers through their decision-making process as well as resources to deliver an engaging and profitable customer experience.


Operations and Service Strategy

  • Tell us how you plan to deliver on customer promises and provide world-class service and support?
  • How will you measure customer retention and ensure a sustainable base of revenue during the ten-year investment period?
  • What is your customer experience strategy and how do you intend to engage customers and transform them into loyal promoters and brand advocates?

This section focuses on how your enterprise will develop its capability to deliver on the value proposition described previously in Unique Solution. It also ties to any scaling action plans and growth capital requirements needed to ensure customers are satisfied, come back for more, and tell others. Be sure to spend time to talk about your customer engagement and retention strategies and processes. This will reassure women and HeForShe investors that your enterprise will be able to achieve its forecasted average annual revenue growth rate during the ten-year investment period. Reference Modules 2, 3, and 4 of Business Impact Accelerator for tools to answer these three very important questions.


Organization and People Strategy

  • Can you provide investors with visibility into the background of the team participating in Business Impact Accelerator© and the key principles of your enterprise?
  • What does your organization chart of the future look like? How do you plan to acquire and/or develop the talent needed to scale impact and grow revenues at 5–10%+ per year for ten years?
  • What are your plans for using the Change Accelerator© platform over the next ten years to develop the change management capability of your team and organization?
  • How will you and your team develop an “army of entrepreneurs” and entrepreneurial culture?
  • How will the Annual B Impact Improvement Plan advance your enterprises’ commitment to sustainable business and B Corp Certification?

Modules 4 and 5 of Business Impact Accelerator will help you answer these questions, in addition to any scaling action plans you identified in Module 3. The first question references the Verified Check Report from CrowdCheck that is a part of our Investment Readiness Check. Be sure to discuss how you will use the Change Accelerator© platform to respond to change and navigate the ten-year journey of growth and business transformation. Also reference your Annual B Impact Improvement Plan to reassure investors of your commitment to build a sustainable, high-impact enterprise. Making the commitment to obtain or sustain B Corp Certification will help to differentiate your enterprise in investor’s minds.


Scaling Risks

  • What are all of the things that could go wrong with this plan?
  • Can you describe to investors how you and your team will avoid the “paradox of growth”?
  • Can you tell us about the counter-measures and plans you’ve prepared to mitigate risk and avoid disappointing investors?

We have seen far too many investment offers and business plans that depend on boilerplate language in this section. While some of this is necessary and even expected by securities regulators, we recommend that you be transparent and specific about the things that can go wrong with the five-year plan. Equally important, provide the set of counter-measures you and your team will employ to respond to challenges and mitigate (or reduce) the risk of failure. Investors will be impressed with your honesty and the fact you are ready to deal with the realities of scaling impact and achieving sustainable growth.


Financial Performance

  • What are the highlights of your enterprises’ financial performance of the past two years?
  • What is the average annual revenue growth rate you are projecting for the next ten years? How did you arrive at this estimate?
  • What key indicators should investors focus on as they review your five-year pro formal financial statements in the Appendix?
  • What were the results of your cash flow pressure tests and other “what-if analyses”? How did you factor these results into your financial projections?

Module 3 and 6 of Business Impact Accelerator will help you and your team to answer the questions in this section of the five-year business plan. This section is linked with your growth capital budget and pro forma financial statements. Make sure everything adds up and is cross-referenced accurately. Be sure to include the projected revenue growth for the next ten years. If you’re planning a 3X-in-10™ Growth Capital Campaign, you do not want to keep prospective crowdfund investors guessing about an important metric they need to calculate their internal rate of return (or IRR).


Growth Capital Requirements

  • What is the total amount of growth capital your enterprise will need to scale impact and achieve sustainable growth after scale-up?
  • What are the specific line items in your growth capital budget? What is the purpose for each of these expenses?

As we indicated previously, you will need to provide a detailed budget for your growth capital requirements. Don’t make the mistake of speaking in general terms here. We’ve seen far too many crowdfund investment offers that discuss “use of funds” in vague and general terms. Be specific and show investors how your growth capital requirements are linked to the scaling action plans and strategy for sustainable growth after scale-up. You want to build the trust of investors and reassure them that you and your team know what you’re doing and will be good financial stewards of their invested capital.


Appendices

  • Did you include pro forma financial statements for the next five years, including (1) profit and loss statement, (2) balance sheet and (3) cash flow statement?
  • Are there other supporting documents investors need to see?
  • Did you provide investors with a warning about “forward-looking statements” and did you direct investors to your Investment Platform Profile for details of the 3X-in-10™ Revenue Sharing Offer?

In this section, you will need to include your pro forma (forward-looking) financial projections for the next five fiscal years. These include–at a minimum–profit and loss or income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statements. If there are other financial-related documents you’d like to share, this would be the location for them (e.g., results of cash flow pressure tests, what-if-analyses, etc.). Reference Modules 2 and 3 of Business Impact Accelerator for more information on improving cash flow management and conducting cash flow pressure tests. Also, work with the team at CrowdCheck to include appropriate warnings about “forward-looking statements.” And be sure to direct prospective investors to your Investment Platform Profile to see the terms of your 3X-in-10™ Revenue Sharing Offer. 

Published by Mark Livingston

Mark Livingston is President of The Social Impact Foundation and creator/author of the WIIN Learning Platform. He is also a Certified Pickleball Coach and Teaching Professional at Coach Mark LLC (www.coach-mark.com).

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