19 March 2012 2 Comments

Business Plan – Know Your KPIs

Business Plan for a Start-upWhat defines success?

How do you know when you succeed?

How do you show this in your business plan?

For many entrepreneurs they envision an IPO or selling to Google. Others want to make the world a better place. However, there is a massive jump to take from idea to IPO (or making the world a better place).

Often entrepreneurs get sidetracked due to the enormity of the task at hand. They try to move from one side of the chess board to the other in one move. Instead, maybe adding a little bit of “business tactics” in their business plan would help.

Firstly, breakdown what you have to achieve step by step. Build a marketing plan and set targets. Write an operations plan and schedule key events. Have a trajectory towards success in place.

Then work towards each minor step. Measure how you have done to what you believe is required to move to the next step. Make adjustments to your business plan incrementally so you develop a real time document that reflects your performance at any given moment.

When angel investors or venture capitalists take a look at your business plan they will see the traction you have achieved by following your KPIs.

These can be financial or operational or both.

Think about answering these questions.

How many beta users have you?

What key reference clients have you?

How much does it cost to make a sale?

What is your client lifetime value?

These are all important elements in your business plan. You need to show these clearly throughout your document.


photo by: Dragan-Sute
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2 Responses to “Business Plan – Know Your KPIs”

  1. Colin Smith 27 March 2012 at 11:23 pm #

    Not only is it important to know your key performance indicators – its important to understand that they change over time. What might be a great cost per action on a given investment 30 days into a business will likely not be an accurate indicator of success by day 90. This is why its imperative to map one’s goals and break down KPIs at a 30-60-90 day, 6 month, 12 month, 2 year 5 year time line. This will incorporate any big hairy audacious goals one might have for a company without ignoring the important intricacies in between. Great article!

  2. Colin Smith 3 April 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    Great Article, Feargal. It should be noted that often times KPI’s change over time. Given one is setting their KPI’s for a new venture, having KPI’s associated with 30 day, 60 day, 90 day, 6 month, 1 year, and 5 year goals will greatly improve the chances of a new business’ success.

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