Write a business plan your bank won’t like (but we will)

Roshan de Jong
Published in
4 min readJul 2, 2019

A good business plan makes both of us smarter, and actually gets read. Here are some pointers to get yours read.

Tie it all together

Want a great way to waste a lot of time ‘working on your business’? Write a business plan. Most business plans are boring. Most business plans don’t actually say anything that an intelligent reader is interested in. And often, they don’t even get read. Not really anyway.

So they tell you to treat it as a mental exercise. Cool. Writing is good, if you’re writing about the right questions.

But most business plans do more obfuscating and fluffing than clarifying. Maybe because you’re writing about the wrong question, or writing in the wrong way. As with all thought experiments, if you do it wrong, you can do more harm than good.

(Also: most business plans are completely unreadable. And as such, their contents barely get consumed.)

My proposal: write a different business plan. One that you can actually use to explain your business to other people, and use as a mental exercise. One that might actually help investors, financiers, and business partners judge whether they can and want to help you.

If you’re interested in getting funded by us, that would be a good starting point.

Here’s what I’m looking for in a business plan:

Start with educating me. Teach me about the world you (plan to) operate in with your business. Paint an objective picture of the world you (plan to) operate in as-is. Then tell me how you will change things. What actions will you undertake, and how will that affect the world-state you just explained to me? Of course, you might be wrong. Illustrate for me how you might adapt if that happens. Also show me the people involved. Who are you, really? And who are the people you serve with this business? And speaking of business: help me understand the money.

Seth Godin wrote a great structure for business plans that answer these questions. I’m gladly borrowing from it below. You could benefit from doing the same.

Section 1: Truth

The truth about your world as you see it, objectively. You know more about this slice of…

Roshan de Jong

Nourishing healthy growth with capital + commitment. Partner at Stratticus. || For background, see www.roshandejong.com