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May 7, 2012

The Presentation of the Plan- Is It All That Matters?

The following account sheds light on how important it is to translate a business plan into a presentation and the way it can bring about success for any entrepreneur.

The significance of the way an entrepreneur presents the business plan cannot be understated. As the old adage says ‘first impressions are the last’, this is something that holds true as far as a business plan presentation is in question.

Making a presentation to venture capitalists turns out to be one of the most overwhelming tasks for most entrepreneurs. Even if the business plan is well thought out, the fear of not being able to express the most promising aspects of the plan and engage the audience is always there.

After investing dozens of hours in research, data compilation, organization of facts and figures and eventually formulating a business plan, an ill-conceived presentation is the last thing an entrepreneur needs. Amid all the enthusiasm and zeal of sharing an idea, there is always a chance of losing potential investors once and for good if the presentation fails to live up to the VC’s expectations.

It will only be justified to say that the effectiveness of the presentation is the fine line that separates success from failure. When the investor agrees to meet with an entrepreneur, it is imperative for him that the entrepreneur entices him as this can make or break the deal.

The business plan presentation is supposed to be an alignment of the audience’s expectations and entrepreneur’s result-driven goals. The presentation should be an endeavor at achieving understanding with the VCs as this raises the prospects for an entrepreneur to have the final decision in his favor.

It is important to establish that the manner in which the business plan is presented plays an essential role in winning the VC’s support for it. This is because the style of presentation and the confidence the presenter has in the plan vastly impacts its chances of getting accepted.

Since the presenter will have a few minutes of allotted time, the presentation should have all the ingredients to put together the perfect recipe of success. This includes impressive graphics, attractive punch lines, consistency of flow, well organized ideas and so on.

The business plan presentation team should be composed of those with good presentation skills. At such times, the experience of those who have previously worked in multinationals can come in handy. In addition, it is a good idea to talk to the key players and ensuring that they understand the plan prior to formal presentation. Key players are the people vital to the implementation of the business plan. These people play a central role in bringing support by developing conditions that allow the plan to succeed.

If an entrepreneur lacks presentations related experience, it will only be sensible for him to seek help from fellow team members and a broker. External help is strongly recommended if assistance is needed to get the wheels going for the idea.

Business plan presentation is a two-way process. It can be thought of as a dialogue between an entrepreneur and investor. An entrepreneur will only be able to influence the investor’s decision by fully comprehending what the business plan has to offer. Otherwise it can get exceedingly difficult for the entrepreneur to address any doubts or questions the VC may have.

To make sure that the business plan presentation is a success, the entrepreneur has to ensure that it communicates the promising prospects of the business, the uniqueness of the approach, how the business aims to target the demographic, the competency of the management team, areas that need funding, a realistic financial plan and the goals the company aspires to achieve in the long run.

In a nut shell, confidence and experience are the key factors for a successful presentation of the business plan. With advance preparation being the key to success, it will not be difficult for an entrepreneur to get some success rolling in for his business.

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