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Writing a Business Plan

Team Sequoia

We like business plans that present a lot of information in as few words as possible. The following business plan format, within 15–20 slides, is all that’s needed.

Company purpose - Define the company/business in a single declarative sentence.

Problem - Describe the pain of the customer (or the customer’s customer). - Outline how the customer addresses the issue today.

Solution - Demonstrate your company’s value proposition to make the customer’s life better. - Show where your product physically sits. - Provide use cases.

Why now - Set up the historical evolution of your category. - Define recent trends that make your solution possible.

Market size - Identify/profile the customer you cater to. - Calculate the TAM (top down), SAM (bottoms up), and SOM.

Competition - List competitors - List competitive advantages

Product - Product line-up (form factor, functionality, features, architecture, intellectual property). - Development roadmap

Business model - Revenue model - Pricing - Average account size and/or lifetime value - Sales and distribution model - Customer/pipeline list

Team - Founders and management - Board of Directors/Board of Advisors

Financials - P&L - Balance sheet - Cash flow - Cap table - The deal

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