At some point along the path of every startup, there will likely be a need to raise funds. In order to demonstrate your vision, and show investors why they should invest and be confident in that investment, there are some operational and technical management skills you must demonstrate.
Remember the story
It is important to approach your potential investors with a story, the story of your business and how it will evolve and grow. As with any story, there should be a beginning, a development of the storyline that includes how it will grow, and some relevant ideas they will be able to connect with. It also needs a vision, perhaps not an end point but a someday point that your project is driving to.
Begin your story with how things are today and ensure that you have a climax your story is driving towards. In the case of a startup, the climax is generally how your project will change the status quo, how people do something. Don’t forget to share your noble vision, the why behind your project. In the sense of the story, consider this the moral or lesson to be learned.
All in the details
Just as in a story, the plotline and details must all be laid out so the reader doesn’t get confused and so they aren’t disappointed. You want to be able to describe the project from a technical perspective. For instance, we have “this” now, and then we will do “this” to move to “this,” which will improve “that,” and eventually, we will have “this.”
Just as in telling a story, knowing your audience is key. That may mean asking a few technical questions to better understand how best to express your ideas on a higher or more simplified level.
Don’t forget the supporting characters
No story is complete without supporting characters – in this case, the stakeholders or what we like to refer to as your project’s ecosystem. Remember that as you tell your story, you must include all of the relevant players – the investor and the people who will use your product on both sides – and illustrate how they will be affected.
A tool writers use, and one I like myself, is to document all of this so it is clear. I use a chart that lists all of the stakeholders and then for each, their desire, contribution, and the value they will get. Don’t forget to include your own company in this big picture. Be sure it is not just a financial perspective, but more of what you will gain in knowledge, capacity and future capability.
Evolve the story
Using a roadmap, you can plot the course of the story of your project. Include what you have done so far, the next small step and its relevance, what comes after that, etc. Remember to include the first version of your website and the versions that will come after that. Also incorporate the technology you will use, the features and how they will improve how people do things.
Don’t forget the money
While the analogy of telling a story works in many ways, ultimately, you must remember that what you are developing is a business plan. Your potential investor will want to see that you have control of your budget, that you truly understand the costs of development. This means you must be able to not only explain where your costs are, but to justify them as the option that makes the most sense.
If you want to get the sample technical plan that contains the roadmap, chart and other templates to help you get started, check out www.myctofriend.co.