As a serial entrepreneur, investor, and chief architect of “the Super Bowl of investment competitions,” Rob Adams has poured through tens of thousands of business plans over the years—and has seen the good, the bad, and yes, the ugly. “There’s this tendency for smart people to want to say a lot in a short time,” he says. “If you do that, you sound confused, like you don’t know what’s important. Part of a good strategy is knowing what not to do.”
If written effectively, a business plan can serve as the blueprint for a startup’s success. It’s a roadmap that guides founders from A to B, a tool for wooing investors, and a way to keep fast-growing teams focused. Forget the debate about whether you need one or not. (You do.) The more relevant question is what to include and what to leave on the proverbial cutting room floor.
While there’s no magic formula, there are certain elements that all great business plans should have—and those that should be avoided at all costs. In recent years, those on the receiving end of these documents have seen what you might call buzzword creep, empty rhetoric that serves as a distraction from otherwise good ideas.
Five Tips to Negotiate Better with Just About Anyone
If you have a small child, you quickly realize that certain people seem to be born with a gene for negotiation (that they apparently got from the other side of the family), but if genetics didn’t bless you with the power to get what you want, Lifehacker’s Aaron Shepherd has some good news for you.
After reading Ed Brodow’s book Negotiation Boot Camp and putting his advice to the test, he summarizes the most effective tips in five simple points.
Of course, the first step is to give it a shot, and we all know that can sometimes be the hardest part.