Steve Smith on business planning
The first step to securing investment is a comprehensive and realistic business plan that accurately describes your business. You’ll need to tell us about key areas of your business in your investment proposal and a strong executive summary is an important part of this.
Steve SmithDirector, Technology Venture Investments
Your executive summary is where you succinctly describe your
business proposal, one or two pages at the most. As well as
inlcuding how much money you require, you need to demonstrate
genuine growth prospects through key operational, financial and
You should back up your executive summary with the following
How have you developed your business? What are its
principal activities, current trading situation and importantly its
What’s your competitive advantage? How do you plan to
develop your products/services and make the most of any unique
features or IP? Tell us about your premises and any equipment you
need to manufacture your product/service.
Tell us about your market, its size and any potential
competitors? What’s your planned route to market and which
segments will you target, for instance? How do your sales
projections compare to your market’s size? Can you forsee any
future market trends?
Pricing and costs
What are your prices and how do you set them? Do you give
credit terms? Do you know the value of your costs? Can
you negotiate credit terms with your suppliers?
We’ll need to understand details of the ownership of your
business, including shareholdings.
A simple organisation chart can help explain key roles and
responsibilities, though we’ll need to see full CVs of key staff
We need at least three years’ cash-flow and P&L projections
as well as a current balance sheet including your opening position
and any assumptions.
If you’re trading, we need up-to-date management accounts and
copies of past accounts including details of your creditors and
What do you want the money for and how much do you think you
need? What’s your personal commitment and how much is
available from other potential investors?
Finally, if Finance Wales invested in your business, how and
when do you think we’d get our money back?