Life, Liberty, & Happiness

Business Creation: The Model


here are many schools of thought in how a Business Plan should be developed.

I find that often, a young startup seems to approach developing the plan much like writing a novel – NOT GOOD!   I have found these 3 basic steps to be the foundation of a good plan.

First, consider the views of a plan and think about how each perspective will be addressed.  In most cases, the Investor’s Perspective is the most critical since most plans are written to attract capital (both dollars and human capital).

Next, focus on the “Essential Ingredients” of the Plan (I’ve provided my own list below).  Each of these essential ingredients should be drafted in some graphic or spreadsheet form – if you can’t draw a picture of it, you won’t likely create it.

Finally, flow chart your concept – identifying components of the business process that drive revenue, those that create the expenses, and the areas where the magic happens – value is created for the customer.

Once you have these elements done, assembling them into a logical plan will be relatively easy.

There are 3 Views of the Business Plan:

  1. The Entrepreneur’s Perspective – My Business Model
  2. The Customer Perspective – Product or Service Value
  3. The Investor’s Perspective – Does this Make Money?

The “Essential Ingredients” of the Plan:

  • Clarity of the Problem or Opportunity
  • Defining Your Solution
  • The Market Size (validated)
  • Evidence of a Compelling Need for the Product or Service
  • An Early-Adopter Customer
  • A Logical Business Model
  • Clarity of Revenue Steams
  • The Right Team

When building a business, Think architecture & the model.  First, develop the model.  Within the Model, what % of sales would each expense be?  How does this compare to the rest of the industry (if there’s nothing to compare the business too, it leaves the investor in an uncomfortable place of guessing).  How do you outperform everyone else’s contribution margin, EBITDA?  What makes this a “better, faster, cheaper” model?    Next, Flowchart the Model:   Identify the revenue drivers, the cost drivers, where you can create key points of difference. Look for places that the value you can bring to a customer is beyond what is ordinary or expected.

Finally (and most Importantly) - secure your first customers. If you don't have a customer, you don't have a business - Just an Idea.

About Dr. Michael Burcham

Michael is an executive coach, entrepreneur, investor, and strategist with 30 years of experience leading investor-backed, high-growth organizations.

“I built and sold a $40M company with Dr. Burcham as my mentor. This is the thing: if you EVER get the opportunity to learn from this man, from that moment forward, you’ll list him as one of the most influential people in your life, even if you live to be 90. And, you’ll know how lucky you were to have that opportunity and you’ll immediately say YES to any chance to be in his presence again—his wisdom is that impactful.”

Sherry Stewart Deutschmann

Former CEO, Letter Logic

“If you are looking for a trusted mentor and coach for yourself or your leadership team, I highly recommend Michael Burcham. He has worked with me as my executive coach for well over a decade now. Our conversations and his feedback have helped me sharpen my critical thinking skills. He’s a trusted advisor that I can confidentially speak with about any issue—and I know I’ll get valued feedback. I highly recommend him.”

Ryan McGrath

CEO, Asset Living

“Dr. Burcham’s depth and breadth of experience makes even the most ADD entrepreneurial leader sit up and take notes! His coaching skills bring out the ‘best you’ possible. He selflessly shares the good, the bad, and the ugly—leaving you with an authentic and moving experience sure to spur action and professional growth!”

Julie Lenzer

Director, U.S. Department of Commerce


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