What makes or breaks a startup anywhere is partially by having a good business plan.
Such as most entrepreneurs in Namibia that I meet daily don’t have good and winning business plans. A conservative business plan for the Namibia market (financial institutions) should be simply, made up of; Executive Summary (written after the business plan), Company Summary, Organizational Plan, Marketing Plan, Financial Plan, and Supporting Documents sections.
I just finished writing a business plan as a consultant, and it looks awesome. But I don’t wanna do this no more. It’s too much time consuming.
But if you expect to get a business loan from any financial institution, you’ve got to have a winning business plan, outlining everything in great details, but remember, business analysts who review your business plan for funding consideration don’t really read everything in your business plan. They read your executive summary first, and if it makes sense, then they jump to your financial projections.
And if it interests them, then they look at your management summary under your Organizational Plan, but everything else in your business plan is just an added value.
I’ve seen people walking around with business profiles, (yes, a business plan should be no more than 32 pages long), but these entrepreneurs usually have on average documents that they call, “a business plan”, but with only 4 pages long, not in the right format, no financial projections, no break-even analysis, and then they complain to everyone that they can’t get a loan from the bank, because they are not well-connected, and that the banks are run by racist white people.
But they forget about their own presentation as outlined in their business plans.
And the mistakes most of them make is that, they pay someone to write their business plans, but because they were not fully involved in writing it, then when coming to the bank asking them to do a presentation and defend their business plan, then they have no clue on what to say, let alone explain what’s written in the business plan.
They have no clue on how to explain where they got the figures in their financial projections. But again, they complain why Namibian banks don’t fund black owned businesses.
The Namibia Ministry of Trade and Industry has a division; Project Planning Unit, whose staff are paid to solely help Namibian SMEs with their business plans development, but I am not sure how many Namibians know about this service.
I wish I had the time to help do workshops and seminars on how to write a winning business plan in Namibia. Because if I can say one thing that I’ve learned from the development of our Groot ecosystem, it’s writing a business plan; with the latest business plan for our Groot development that, our team and I wrote, and from that we are raising more than N$6 billion (US$800 million) for Groot Town Center and separately US$900 million for our 900 MWe Gas Power Plant in Namibia. These are just 2 projects which are part of our 60+ different projects for our Namibia ecosystem development. Also, we are preparing to write our business plan for our Swaziland Ecosystem Development whose development budget is currently set at US$10.7 billion.
From this experience, I have learned a great deal on how to write and present a business plan to the financial lending institutions and venture capitalists.
For the US market, I’ve written many business plans, but the language that’s used in business plans for the US VCs, especially for tech start-ups is different from the Namibian market. One simple word in US could mean something completely different from what it may mean in Namibia.
For example, for the US market, I can write; “a killer app…”, or “a disruptive technology”. Using such as these phrases for the Namibian market (due to political correctness), they may be viewed and construed differently, in a very very very very bad way.
Look, if you want to get a business loan from any bank or VCs, you’ve gotta have a good business plan, but also you must be able to present and defend what’s stated in your business plan. If you had paid a consultant to write your business plan, try to understand how that consultant came up with the dollar value in your financial plan and what those graphs mean.
A good business plan should be more quantitative than qualitative, and use more graphs to explain your market and financial details. So, go out there and write a killer business plan for your disruptive innovative solution.