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This business coaching lesson teaches how to discuss company milestones.

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Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1

[MUSIC]

-Now the next part of the business plan, this is the next part here, OK. Milestones, part ten, milestones. Now if you look at milestones, if you're going to go from here, to here, to here, to here, to here, to here, to here, to here, you want to basically come up with a certain goals you have along the way, OK.

So the milestones, I'm going to read this notable quotable to you. It says, "Describe your current status and prospective milestones for the next one to three quarters for your product, team, marketing, and sales. Use a table with the quarters on the x-axis and the functions on the y-axis. Also include quarterly and cumulative gross burn. Don't build a detailed financial model if you don't have past earnings, a significant financial history, or insight into the issue. What hypotheses did you test in the last round of financing and what were the results?"

At the end of the day, what you want to do, is you want to explain-- First, I want to get my product right. So here we want to get the product right, let's say. And then here, the DJ business, I had a goal. I want to get to a million dollars of gross revenue. Right? Then you might have another goal, and you go, I want to get to where we're doing 4,000 events. You might have another goal where you say, I want to then acquire a party rental company. Then another one, you say, then I want to start a photography company.

STUDENT (VOICEOVER): Are you putting dates behind these?

-What you want to do is you want to go ahead and put some sort of date that you feel like is reasonable, so that the investor knows that you know what you're talking about, and that you know what you're talking about. There's a client I used to work with a long, long time ago and what she used to do is any time she made any extra cash, she would just buy random crap that she thought was needed at the time. You know what I mean? Because she's passionate about the industry. So every time she'd have an extra $500 she's like, well I should probably by a-- and that's what most business owners do. We just keep-- as soon as we have any money we buy the next thing. We don't think about, or we don't have a plan.

But you have a plan. So when I was building my business, I thought, I'm going to buy this party rental company and to do it I need to save some money so that I can buy it. And so I wasn't-- all my focus was on going from here, to here, to here. Make sense? So you want to think about your milestones.

-OK.

-A quote here that's incredible, we'll kind of edit it up a little bit here, but he says, this is from Jason Fried, he's the founder of 37signals, which was a web design company, which ultimately became Basecamp. If you've ever used Basecamp, it's kind of a time management, project management software. This is what he says, he says "Projections are bs. They're just guesses." So you might go, well why did you just teach us if it's bs. The point is, you want to have-- you can't steer a parked bus. So you want to have some sense of where you're going, but over time you're going to have to change it, you'll have to change directions over time. The way I explain to people the business plans and milestones is like this, If I got on a bus and-- last time you went in a bus where were you going?

-I was going up to Portland.

-OK.

-So that's like North of me like four hours.

-OK. So we hope in the bus and we go, we're going to go from here, to here, and it's four hours, and this is where we're going. The bus driver says, all right, all aboard. You hop in the bus, you're driving on the bus, you're heading up there. At some point will will there be construction or somebody in the middle of the road?

-Yeah, and they'll be other stops too, as well.

-But let's pretend though that you have a business plan and you run it like you're in the movie Speed, where you don't have brakes, and you just go. What's going to happen is you're going to kill somebody.

-Yeah.

-So your business plan is a viable plan. It doesn't mean you're throwing out the map--

-Yeah.

---because there's some construction over here, it just means you're going to have to use your mind--

-Cause you're going to run into speed bumps along the way.

---and go around it. So you might have to go around here, you might have to do a detour to get back to here, but you're knowing at least where you're headed. That's the concept of the milestones.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2

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