HOW TO MAKE A START-UP STAND OUT

Leon Emirali

4 PR tips for your business plan

There’s never been a better time to land venture capital or angel investment for your start-up. With so many tech success stories, investors are suffering from a severe case of FOMO and are eager to invest in the “next big thing”.

Yet, ensuring your business plan is strategically sound and appealing remains a challenge. Whilst business ideas may come easy to entrepreneurs, presenting them in a way that is likely to catch the eye of an investor who reads hundreds of business plans a month can be tricky. It’s for that reason PR and communications should form an integral part of your start-up long before you’ve received a cheque for seed investment.

Most start-ups seeking investment will follow the generally agreed structure of a business plan, but it can often be the way content is presented that is the difference between your business plan being sorted into the “interested” pile, or the bin.

Just like writing a press release that appeals to a journalist, the same rules apply for a business plan or investment proposal that appeals to an investor. Here’s four PR tricks that you should consider when seeking investment:

1. Have a beginning, middle and end.

Your business plan should tell a story. The beginning should explain your concept, the middle should outline your plan for market entry and customer acquisition, and the end should demonstrate how you plan to present a return for your investor, through acquisition or otherwise.

2. Secure third-party endorsements.

Securing validation for your business concept is vital, especially if it’s yet to be tried and tested. Just as PLMR often advises clients to gather a coalition of supporters and advocates before launching a campaign, the same applies to your start-up. By demonstrating support and interest in your business from independent third parties, you are signalling to investors that your product/service is exciting and respected.

3. Create a key message, and stick to it.

What’s your USP? Whatever it is, make sure you communicate its value throughout your business plan. The USP shouldn’t be mentioned just once in the marketing section and then never picked up again, it should be woven into the fabric of your plan so that whoever is reading it is fully aware of what you bring to the table against your competitors.

4. Make a strong start.

Just like journalists, investors are busy people. For this reason, it’s imperative that your business plan has a strong executive summary that clearly and succinctly explains your idea and how you plan to make money. When drafting a press release, we always aim to tell the full story in the first line. The same rule applies for your business plan.

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