When we rounded up our first investment we had to device a three years plan in order to convince our investors of our seriousness, the plan was monthly and the next time I came to face with it was a year later when we worked to secure the next round.

Only when I reviewed how we strayed from our original plans I realize the importance of the BP.

1.      Articulate the company’s strategy and align investments priorities (sales / product / marketing)

2.      articulate the sales funnel and playbook practical implications

3.      Articulate the HR strategy and FTE recruitment plan

4.      Set expectation and proper communication with our investors

Aligning strategy and investments

Start with answering a few simple question:

1.      What’s our Vision – who are we and what do we wish to achieve

2.      What’s our goal – growth / profitability (including milestones)

3.      What’s our funding strategy (please refer to my earlier post)

Playbook principals

Align and schedule marketing and sales efforts.

Your ability to articulate how many leads needs to be generated at the top of the funnel, will affect the business model, the sales operations and product specifications.

Moreover, once you define your conversion assumptions it would dictate the larger part of the cost model that would enable you to meet your goals.

In all regards related with the BP marketing and sales have to be part of the same story, a single flow, this is crucial for your future scalability.

Inbound / outbound, inside sales / field sales, these kind of decisions will affect every aspect of your product, company, revenue and cost structure. Make sure your plan is consistent in regards to tying the income model with the associated cost model.

HR

We are as strong as the team we empower, and though a startup tends to be more informal in regards to defining the org structure, setting the roles and accountabilities is not shorter than critical.

In addition every startup has limited funds to pay for ‘grade A’ talents so setting up the appropriate salary place holder within the cost model is of essence, timing the recruitment of each talent has to be persistent to perfectly fuel playbook model , tying recruitment with the business / funding milestones achieved.