This work plan example is based on the assumption that your startup already has at least an alpha prototype of the product. Usually, that's the stage where a startup needs to raise seed money. Nevertheless, this template can be modified to fit start-ups in other stages.
Define your business goals before building the work plan
There is a great paraphrase from Alice in Wonderland that says: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there”. The same goes for building your work plan. There’s no point in building a work plan if you don’t know what your business goals are. So first define your business goals. Next, define the milestones that would lead you towards achieving these goals. And then, define the minimum viable product to details (here’s a template to help you). Once you have the above completed, you’re ready to start building the detailed work plan.
Plan only for the next 3-4 quarters
A startup in its early stages is a very dynamic thing. Hence, there is no logic in planning for more than 3-4 quarters ahead. In addition, there is no need for a 3 years financial forecast. Experienced investors (the kind you want) won’t ask for it, since they know that it’s impossible to forecast how an early stage startup would perform for more than a few quarters ahead. If you need to implement a work plan in your investment deck, it's enough to include the Goals and the Milestones slides (#2 & #3)
Focus on expenses not revenues
Don’t get me wrong. Your goal is to generate revenues, and the sooner the better. However, unless you already have a steady revenue stream, you shouldn't count on revenues when calculating your burn rate. So just focus on how much and on what you’re going to spend the funds in each quarter. You’re welcome to use this budget template on the resources page.
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