For all of the popularity of pitch decks, business plans still serve an important function for entrepreneurs who are building a business.
A 2017 study of more than 1,000 US entrepreneurs found that those with a business plan were more successful than those without. Among pairs of otherwise identical founders, planners were 16% more likely to be profitable for at least six months out of a year.
Of course, a fancy plan won’t save a bad business model, but a thoughtful strategy can give a promising idea the winning edge in a competitive market.
And that edge doesn’t exclusively apply to startups seeking venture funding. Just ask former Wall Street bank executive Cate Luzio, who left her 17-year corporate career to launch Luminary NYC, a co-working and event hub for professional women.
Luzio attributes Luminary’s success to the business plan she wrote in one week.
“It’s important to have a plan with actionable-steps and a mission ‘North Star’ for your business,” Luzio said.
As Managing Director and the Global Head of Multinational Corporate Banking at HSBC, Luzio had a $US2 billion portfolio and a team of more than 2,000 people across 72 countries.
She has advised countless businesses and founders on their plans, so Business Insider asked Luzio to distill her decades of experience into a guide, which she emphasises is exactly that: a guide, not a rubric.
“Whatever the plan or the framework you use, you have to be able to execute,” she said.
A business plan simply happens to be a very useful framework, and Luzio’s advice is the basis for these 8 essential elements founders should include in their plans, and why they matter.
Subscribe now to read our feature: Even lean startups benefit from a detailed business plan. Here’s a step-by-step guide to writing a winning strategy that will boost your startup’s chance at success.
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