The Miami Tech Week Conference took place recently in the South Florida city as part of the April Tech Month program. ShearShare co-founders Dr. Tye and Courtney Caldwell had the pleasure of joining the best and brightest the industry has to offer! Miami’s burgeoning tech scene set the perfect stage for the industry to make meaningful connections across finance, media, art, and more. “This was our first time attending Miami Tech Week. We caught up with our 43North family,” said Courtney. “From investor happy hours to pitching on stage at Island Gardens, we were grateful for the opportunity to share the vision and heart behind our startup, ShearShare.”
The highlight of the conference was the weekend filled with community events, networking opportunities, and a myriad of panel discussions featuring leaders in crypto, real estate, and venture capitalism. A hot topic discussed during the panels was how to attract investors. With 90% of startups failing within five years, industry leaders gave insight into vital information that should be included in a business plan and pitch. Here are five tips for developing a small business plan.
5 Questions to Answer in Your Business Plan
- What is the Problem? — The best companies were formed by people who solved a common problem, created convenience, or discovered something missing in society. Often, entrepreneurs find valuable solutions to their problems so don’t be afraid to incorporate a personal story when explaining the problem your company plans to address. Unique storytelling can set you apart from competitors. But ultimately your startup needs to solve a need and that need must have a marketable audience.
- What’s Your Unique Solution? — As we mentioned above, a unique story can make your company stand out. But what makes your solution different from competitors? There is very little that is new under the sun, so differentiating your company from the competition is essential when shopping around your business plan. Be clear about the problem and even clearer about your solution. This is where your business plan comes in – it should articulate your solution plan(s) and a value framework aimed toward societal impact, not just financial achievement.
- Does Your Business Have Traction? — Traction refers to the initial progress of a startup and the momentum it builds as it grows. Showcasing the traction of your business is vital when preparing a business plan and pitch. Potential investors want to see proof that your concept is viable and marketable. Depending on what type of start-up you have, this can be proven by profit, maintaining consistent growth inactive users, or a decrease in churn rate. Your startup will attract more investors if it has greater evidence of traction. The more traction your business has, the more investors your business will attract.
- What is Your Moat? — An economic moat is a distinct advantage a company has over its competitors, allowing it to protect its market share and profitability. This advantage can be your brand identity, patents, or cost advantages (any factor that allows a company to outperform competitors in providing a similar good/service). This advantage makes it difficult for competitors to duplicate. When considering your moat, be sure to study your competitors and major trends in your industry. So many companies go extinct just because they couldn’t keep up with what was going on in their field (Blockbuster, anyone)?
- What is Your TAM? — TAM stands for the total addressable market. You don’t have a good idea until you find customers willing to pay for it. Even if you don’t have an actual product or service yet, test your audience to see if they’ll get out their wallets or click the “Buy Now” button. Validate your ideas before you get too into the weeds. You don’t want to invest too much time, money, or passion into a project that’s not going to work. Get to know your customers to understand their wants, needs, fears, and desires. The more you know about your customers, the better you’ll be able to market and build upon your products and services.
We hope these five questions are helpful as you develop your plan. To help get you started, download our free business plan template below! There are never any guarantees of success, however, if you adopt these strategies you’re sure to increase your chances of success.