Your MVP (Minimum Viable Product) has attracted the attention you’d hoped for – clients want to buy once it’s ready; investors are lining up to put money in; the IP lawyer has confirmed “freedom to operate” and thinks you can gain a patent; the grant money is in and has got you to where you are, and the bugs in the software are nearly ironed out – so what comes next?
Well, nothing happens without investors’ money, but as we’ve said above, they’re ready to jump in! To get them onboard, as part of your financial pack you will have created a “Use of Funds” statement.
It says – if you give me £XXX,XXX then this is how I will spend it. It deals with headlines only – e.g. £500k will be spent: £250k on platform development, £200k on working capital and £50k on marketing. However, this statement to potential investors is driven by your “Funding Strategy” – how much do I need, when do I need it, and what will I use it for – this might cover your first 24 months of operation.
Let’s assume you get investors to put in the £500k in the example above.
What to Include in your Execution Plan
You now need a plan – an Execution Plan: In detail – how will the money be spent, on what and when. This is a monthly plan and helps to manage cash flow, avoiding spend on unwarranted topics, and keeping you on track. This ties in closely to the cash flow forecast you have produced and are updating regularly. By matching cash flow with expected expenditure from your Execution Plan, you ensure you don’t run out of money.
But more than this, the Execution plan directs your short-term activities, focusing the right people on the right projects with the right amount of funding at the right time.
Work out what needs to be done, in what order, and by whom, and create something like a GANTT chart to provide oversight. This should map out the time frames for each task and where they are interlinked identify the requirement for “A” to be finished before “B” can be started. Use it to identify when recruitment should take place to ensure you remain on track (build enough time in for this)
Use this document to drive your regular progress discussions, and to provide feedback to investors and stakeholders in general.
Should you need help with your Execution Plan, get in touch with one of our Gurus today.