Your plan should be sent to us as a single file in Adobe PDF, ideally no longer than 23 pages (including the cover sheet and executive summary). Email your plan to firstname.lastname@example.org as an attached file. You may reference additional online resources in your business plan, but the reviewers will not be required to view them.
Formatting and Cover Page
The following information should be included at the beginning of your business plan, or in the text of the email to which your business plan is attached:
- Company name
- Name(s) of the lead contact individual(s), and email and telephone contact information.
- Physical address of the company.
- Website of the company (if you have one)
- An answer to: “Where do you need the most help in making your company successful?”
- A list of any competitors that you want to make sure do not review your plan.
Content (Reviewer Questions)
These are the questions we ask our reviewers to evaluate. We understand that not every business plan will cover ever section, but the more you give us, the better feedback we can provide.
- Product / Service – How well do they describe their product or service, and why their customers will pay for it?
- Marketing / Sales Strategy – How well do they describe their potential market, and how they will reach their customers?
- Competition / Risks – How well do they describe the competitive landscape, and any other external risks and/or barriers to entry?
- Team / Partners / Stakeholders – How well do they describe their current team, the roles they will play, and who they will need (both as staff and partners) in the future?
- Financial Assumptions – How well do they describe their revenue and expense assumptions? Documents submitted to the Mentor Capital Network from USA-based companies should not contain offerings of securities. They can say “We are seeking an investment of $AAA, which we will use for BBB purposes, which will enable us to become profitable / more attractive to future investors because of CCC.” They should *not* say “For a $XXX investment, an investor would receive YYY% of the company and/or a ZZZ% annual return.”
- Operations – How well do they describe what they will need to do to execute on the items described above?
- Integrated mission : How well do they describe their a plan to integrate their mission in a way that will make them equally or more competitive as a business? Examples of this could include: Environmental actions that lowers operational risk / Treating your employees, suppliers, and/or partners fairly in a way that reduces turnover costs / Addressing markets that are traditionally ignored for non-business reasons (e.g. hiring women in places where that doesn’t happen often) / Using diversity (gender, class, ethnicity, etc.) to strengthen your teamwork, and/or your understanding of your market. If you are unclear on how to do this, we recommend this article as an overview: http://ssir.org/articles/entry/the_rise_of_gender_capitalism.
- Ripples – If their product or serve makes a change in a community, presumably the first impact is positive, but have they thought about what else might happen because of the changes they are making?