This week, I’d like to finish up TraceCloud’s business plan struggle I mentioned in the first blog entry.
After successfully created the first workable model for TraceCloud and got the technical documentation done, our team started searching online all the available business plans from different companies. At first, I was strictly looking for business plans in technology field and found that since all the products were profession targeted, they were not helpful for us, a group of business novices, regarding providing sample for a basic business plan.Encountered the obstacle, I changed my original plan of only looking for area related business plan into looking for all areas’ business plan just to get a sense. Among all the business plans on the market I searched, I found that Chipotle’s business plan inspired me the most.
Apart from the Letter To Mr. Ells on the first page serving as the introduction, the rest of the catalogue was actually a very clear guide for first-experienced people like us as getting points that needed to be included in a business plan.
From the image above we could learn that a business plan basically included three main parts: condition summary, market analysis and proposed strategy. For TraceCloud, our team needed to add more technology targeted content to illustrate our product because we were not actually running a business but selling our product.
In TraceCloud’s business plan, our team incorporated more detailed subtitles to guide readers because as a new product which didn’t have any related competitors on the market, TraceCloud had to fully explain itself and show what was special about the system. Also, since we were only developers of TraceCloud, we needed other big companies to invest us so that we were able to start the business which meant we have to convince them that though there were risks on investing TraceCloud, it was worthy and we did, as the developing team, think about those risks and provide some rough strategies and explanations to those risks. So we added part 6 in our business plan called Investment Decision Analysis which included all the risks investors might face and how TraceCloud could get over with those risks.
TraceCloud business plan is the first business plan I’ve ever written; before then, I didn’t even think I would write a business plan ever. Though it’s still not perfect and I was basically getting all the ideas from other business plans, it does give me a life-changing experience which I can carry on to my future projects and career. After all, all learnings start from imitation.