Business Plan

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin
TASK: Answer the below questions outlining the next steps and plan for your startup idea. Identify what your early roadblocks are and how we can plan to overcome them.
OBJECTIVE: This is a rough business plan/next steps questionnaire so that you leave Tacklebox with a plan. A lot of these metrics and timelines will likely change but the goal is talk it through and keep the momentum going. No question is a silly one, add as much detail as you can and we will give you relevant feedback and resources to move forward. This plan needs to make sense to you.

1. Considering your customer acquisition, product development and beyond - what do you see as your 3, 6 and 12 month outlook?

How many customers would you need to have at each of these milestones? When would you like to have the product in development? When would be the goal launch date? What do you need to get done in the next 3 months to get your idea off the ground?
Think ambitiously but add a buffer of a few months on funding + product development.
3 Months
6 Months
12 Months
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2. To make the above happen, what are your next steps?

Exactly what needs to be done for you to further validate (reduce product assumptions), actually create your product and prepare to launch?

3. What’s your general business model? i.e. pricing, acquisition cost

Have you validated the pricing model yet? i.e. CIT Testing with pricing. What price are you planning on charging? Can you estimate your customer lifetime value (how frequently will your customer make this purchase and for how long)? Does your acquisition cost during Tacklebox line up with this?

4. Is an Accelerator right for me?
Do you have the industry relevant network to build this product?
If yes, you may not benefit from the support or network of an Accelerator. If no, an Industry-specific Accelerator could be a great way to build out this network.
Will you be planning on raising funding at some point?
If yes, an Accelerator can help you prepare for this funding round and gives you some credibility to investors. If no, your end-goal will likely not be in line with that of an Accelerator who will be pushing you towards raising on Demo Day.
Are you prepared to work on this idea full-time?
If yes, Accelerators will pay you up to $125k for 5-10% equity to work full-time on this idea within their program. If no, Accelerators won’t be a good fit.
Are you willing to give up equity (up to 10%) for access to support and an investor network?
If yes, an Accelerator is a great way to continue your startup with support. If no, you can build out this network yourself and pitch investors individually.
Do you have early customer traction and a skateboard product operational (or close)?
If yes, you’ll be in a good position to apply to an Accelerator. If no, Accelerators are extremely competitive, it will be difficult to get past the first round of interviews without early traction.
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If an Accelerator makes sense, let us know - we can help you navigate the application process and make some connections. We’ve had Tacklebox alumni attend Y Combinator, TechStars, NY Fashion Tech Labs and Quake. For some founders an Accelerator makes a lot of sense but it’s definitely not the only way.
5. Is Fundraising right for me?
Have you done everything possible to acquire customers and build the product and are just limited by funding?
If yes, fundraising makes sense. If no, what steps can you take to show early traction and further validate your idea?
Do you have a skateboard product operational?
If yes, are the early results from the skateboard product interesting to investors? If no, investors will want to see traction, how can we get you to that point?
Do you have a specific reason for raising?
If yes, fundraising makes sense. If no, we want to get you to a point where fundraising is critical for growth i.e. you’ve done significant validation and need funding to aggressively target a specific SOM in a specific way. Investors want to see where their money will go.
Do you see a scalable version of this business?
If yes, fundraising may make sense - particularly if you’re picturing horizontal expansion. If no, bootstrapping is a better way to approach a cottage type startup.
Do you have a compelling market size with strong growth trends?
If yes, investors will be more interested. If no, it will be a tougher sell.
Have other companies similar to yours received funding? Were they successful?
If yes, is there still room in this market for you? If no, is there a reason why investors haven’t invested yet.
Can you build this company without fundraising?
If yes, build it. If no, raise.
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6. How do you plan on getting your first 1000 customers?

Based on the channels you’ve tested in Tacklebox, how will you acquire your first customers? Have you been able to uncover an effective and eventually scalable channel or do you need more CIT testing?

7. How will you ensure these customers are relevant to your SOM?

How are you ensuring that your first 1000 customers are with unifying characteristics? i.e. 1000 people who love you versus 1000 people who have heard of you.

8. What’s stopping you from moving forward aggressively now?

9. What can we help you with?

Let us know what connections we can make, any concepts that you’re confused about, etc.

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