Whether you are making, or have made, a business plan, you know it’s difficult to get every key thought down onto paper in an efficient manner. Did you write your business plan in a hurry, only to never use it again and wing your venture? You need to go back and take an analytical look at your business plan so you can truly understand which direction you are going. Planning is one of the key factors for any successful venture. Whether you are looking for investors/banks to fund your business venture or you just want to give a more concrete approach to your business idea, a well-written comprehensive business plan is what you need to meet these goals. Based on it, you can craft your business strategy, both long-term and short-term.
I have uniquely customized the Business Model Canvas, providing all the questions you must answer for your business, keep reading to find out how you can get your free copy. One great starter tip for creating a great plan is to find real-world plans that have already been approved and study them, get a feel for what are the do’s and don’ts.
After creating, reviewing and approving a large number of business plans in my time I have simplified my top 10 tips for you:
10 Tips to Writing a Winning Business Plan
1. Start well in advance. Write down every idea that comes to mind while nurturing your business idea.
2. Begin with a statement of purpose. You should be able to explain your business in 25 words or less.
3. Research, research & research. Find your specific niche and know it well, from competitors to suppliers!
4. Get advice from mentors, friends, and colleagues. Different perspectives will allow you to grow. Without giving away your whole plan, a soundboard is always beneficial.
5. Use Simple language and avoid heavy jargon. Use visuals such as graphs, charts and images to make the idea clearer and more effective.
6. Include time frames and a realistic execution plan.
7. Do not keep it static, keep adapting and updating the plan as new developments arise.
8. Be realistic in your estimates. If need be get financial help to get the most accurate approximations for three years of projections.
9. Approach the problem from all angles. Visualise yourself as the consumer and scrutinize your concepts to each detail.
10. Use it! Most people leave the Plan in their closets once they start the business. Use it as a guide, keep updating it and allow it to remind you what your core values, missions and objectives are.
My Four Pillars of Writing a Business Plan: Extensive Research, Customized To Audience Needs, Who Should Write The Business Plan, Seek Help/Advice From a Mentor.
Stressing Tip 10, once you’ve finished it, USE your plan as a blueprint of your business providing information about various processes, value chain activities and resources. All major businesses constantly review and update their plans and make sure it continuously meets its needs, so be sure to do the same!
If you are looking for angel investors, then you must think like an investor when creating your business plan. Why should somebody invest their money to fulfill your dreams? To gain their investment and back and more! So your job is to convince investors / bank managers the potential of your business idea. Investors usually look for quick reasons not to invest, rather than reasons to invest. Think realistically about the risks of your business. Eliminate or reduce them. A business looking for capital can’t afford to underestimate the importance of business financial projections.
When you start detailing the various components of a business plan, it will enable you to envision how you would be running and maintaining the business. You’ll realize that many gaps will be highlighted which would have escaped review before. Be sure to include your vision/mission, marketing aims, operational and financial information, exit plans, skills needed, and details on the product/service itself.