This post is part of a 7 part series, check out the first post here for a listing of all 7 in the series.
This doesn't have to be a 50 page document. In fact, most people would tell you that's a waste of time today. I recommend starting off with one of the tools below:
The reason I recommend tools like this is that at the beginning, it's all a guess anyway. Sure you can model your business after others to an extent, but unless you've run a similar business before and you're following your own playbook, it's still going to require mostly adaptation. In this post I'll use the example of a consumer product for the sake of painting the picture, but you can use these tools for any kind of product, your plan will just look different.
I like the business model canvas because it forces you to look at the big picture without getting to tactical in any one area, which is an appropriate level of detail for how unknown the path truly is for most entrepreneurs. I won't go explaining it in this post because there are a plethora of resources on the internet like this one, this one, and this one that will teach you all about it. I will highlight 3 components that in my opinion, deserve extra attention for a physical product:
In my opinion, a lot of time (including my own in a past life) is wasted making pitch decks look good. I think the less information you need on any slide in order to get the point across, the better. If you have a motivating story for why the solution matters and how you're the person/team to solve it, you're already doing better than the majority of founders. But this process isn't just useful for pitching to investors, it's also just a great way to think through your business model in a logical way.
I'm a really big fan of Guy Kawasaki's 10-slide approach which you can read about here. Sequoia Capital also has a 10-slide approach that might be even a little bit better (for example, I love that it includes a "why now" slide). The bottom line is this: you don't have to overthink it right now. Ten slides is more than enough. Your plan is going to change anyway. Get it on paper and be ready to adapt.