One of my current roles is an exciting project helping mentor some of the most innovative young technology businesses in the UK on their next steps, which mostly revolve around proposition development, sales and marketing process and inevitably given the stage of business raising finance.
One key thing that appears lacking to most on a first meeting is an understanding of the importance of an action plan, and not necessarily for the reasons you might expect. Yes, a plan, detailing actions to take to commercialise the product might seem logical as a means of structuring your own thoughts and time, but what is lost on many I am meeting is the importance of a plan to also convince investors and potential team members you hope to recruit that this business can make it, in what, after all, is a tough market in which to succeed.
[And by action plan, I don’t mean business plan btw, I really do mean action plan. A logical set of positive actions, ordered by priority and timing, against which to hold the founder or team accountable for success]
To be fair, building such a plan is not hard work. It just requires you to be objective (and not put off those decisions that have to be made), decisive (what order do I REALLY need to make decisions in), and structured (have I covered all bases, do I really know what I am trying to sell and to which customer, and why would they buy from me?).
Easier said than done, but if you need any help then happy to provide some advice.