Since the inception of this business world, there is one document that all business founders use as a tool to explain their business model, set the direction for the business and also to craft their brand messaging. That document is called a business plan. There are some business experts who argue that business plans are dead. Are they? A business plan is the first document you create after you lay down the basics of your company. It serves as your mean to explain where you are right now, where you are headed and where you want to be.
Creating a solid business plan is the need of every business and it takes time and energy to make it exactly the way you want to. The language and format can become a tedious process if you lack resources and expertise.
I had a chance to sit with Alex Silensky, CEO, and Co-founder of OGS Capital who understands this gap. His company has assisted thousands of entrepreneurs with business plan development, consultancy, and analysis. According to him, he has helped his clients secure more than $1.5 billion in funding so far. How Alex come this far, let’s read
How did the idea of OGS Capital come to your mind?
Alex: We started off by creating business plans and providing business consulting services to companies from TOP1000 Fortune list during our careers in the world-known consulting companies like Deloitte, PWC, Bain, etc. At some point, my partners and I decided to start our own consulting company focusing on startups and small and medium businesses to implement the best practices we learned throughout our careers. OGScapital was then established in 2006 to serve this purpose.
Why do you think business plans are necessary for businesses in this age?
Alex: The business plan helps build a roadmap of your business development efforts and also helps to structure your business model. In addition, it also helps to access the market and forecast the financial results and returns of your organization. At this age, with the dramatical development of modern technologies and new types of businesses, it is very risky to start a new business without preliminary assessment of the market potential and developing an approach for running the business. This is where our services can help. Our clients are also using our business plans for fundraising purposes. It is a common practice to show it to investors nowadays.
Keeping in mind all the hats that entrepreneurs wear, when do you think is the right time to finalize the business plan?
Alex: The outlining of a business plan should be initiated when the business idea is formulated so it can help to check its viability and attract the funding. The business plan is a live document and it should be updated/revised in the due course.
Do you think business plans play a vital role in raising investment for a startup? If yes, how?
Alex: Yes, it is critical for fundraising. All investors/lenders require the business plan before taking any investment decision. As per OGScapital experience, different investors have different specific requirements about a business plan and it’s our job to meet their expectations.
Do you also consult startups with their existing business plans?
Alex: Absolutely, we provide full-scale support to startups, not only for creating the business plans but also reviewing the existing document, developing the business strategies, marketing plans, conducting due diligence, mentoring and as well.
The business plans are template based or you customize it as per the needs of your clients?
Alex: Our philosophy is not to use any templates and software. We create all documents from scratch as the quality of the tailored business plan is much better as compared to templates and it will increase success in fundraising. Our project team consists of a project lead and three MBA consultants: one is responsible for financial modeling, another one – market research and the third one takes care of business strategies and marketing.
Tell me about your secret sauce? What are the main components you always prefer to include in any business plan?
Alex: The structure of the content is decided case to case, but it should include at least the market research, description of the business model, goals, mission/objectives, marketing plan/mix, management team, use of proceeds. In my opinion, the secret sauce is the content and style of presentation 🙂
What more services are you planning to offer through OGS Capital?
Alex: We are planning to expand our services to help the startups from initial fundraising to future exit of their businesses. Our service offering will cover all business support services to businesses for achieving their goals and become successful.
Where do you see OGSCapital in the future? Any expansion plans?
Alex: Our short-term plan is to create a platform where different service providers can offer their services to small and medium businesses. We want to help the businesses become more successful with the support of those who have the expertise. We see a lot of cases where people want to start their business but they do not have enough experience in setting the building blocks. So our vision is to support them by sharing our expertise and wide experience in various business aspects. Together we will make our world better.