If for Thomas Neveux it is possible to envisage very strong growth on the Internet because of the massive adoption of a mobile application internationally as well as thanks to viral effects, it is however necessary to be “able to model this type of mechanism to gain credibility with investors, which necessarily requires experience on a market and a pragmatic vision of the latter”. Moreover, it goes without saying that the entrepreneur must remain consistent between what he announces during his presentation and what he will have achieved a few years later.
For Margaux Derhy, founder of La Petite Etoile, a company that advises start-ups on their business plan, this type of inconsistency can be found at all levels. “It is moreover frequent that the evolution of the turnover is not coherent with the evolution of the expenses”. That is to say that a growing turnover volume supposes a commercial force which is also growing. And all related expenses must also be adjusted.
Distinguish between operational and decision-making tools
One should not confuse an operational management tool with a decision-making tool: this is what makes the difference between a budget and a business plan. “The budget allows you to manage your expenses on a daily basis, whereas the business plan illustrates a set of coherent mechanisms,” explains Thomas Neveux. The budget will make it possible to understand that from X customers in 2013, you want to reach Y by the end of 2014. The business plan
will illustrate the mechanisms used to achieve this. “This is where the investor will understand if the strategy is to bet, for example, on optimizing the transformation rate of a campaign or on increasing marketing costs,” he continues.
Using market comparables
If you are not able to correctly assess your turnover in the case of a very innovative business model, “you have to fall back on market comparables, i.e. on the results of start-ups that offer an economic model close to ours”, says Margaux Derhy. This situation allows a start-up seeking seed financing to gain the confidence of the investor, revealing a pragmatic vision of the market, next to another whose figures are not confronted with the market.