Writing a business plan can be a daunting experience, especially if you have never actually done it before. That being said, you can’t put it off or ignore it. If you do, then you may find yourself in a dire situation that you just can’t pull yourself out of.
Tailor your Plan
You should always start out your plan by focusing on your audience. Think about it, who is going to need your plan? Who is going to be funding your idea? It’s so important that you are able to tailor different parts of your plan to meet your audiences’ needs. For example, if you need to create a plan so that you can attract a potential investor then they may be looking for an explanation of how they are going to get a return.
Research your Market
Investors place a huge amount of focus on market knowledge. You have to make sure that you do your research and that you also detail as much information as you can in your business plan. Showing a high level of awareness will really help you out here, as it will help you to identify your strengths and your weaknesses. When you are researching your market, it helps to make sure that nobody else has the same name as you. If they do, then you could be infringing on their trademark. If you want to find out more about that then check out this American trademark guide.
Know your Competition
If you want to understand your market then you need to make sure that you recognise your competition, who they are and what they stand for. You may think that competition is a bad thing, but this is not the case at all. In fact, competition can be healthy because it encourages you to stay focused on what’s ahead and it also helps you to evolve your idea to the point where it can last a lifetime.Source: Pexels (CC0 License)
Your business plan shouldn’t waffle. It should always get right to the point, but that being said, you have to make sure that it includes enough detail so that the other party can actually understand your business. Your plan should make people believe in your ability and it should also showcase your professionalism too. If your business plan is full of miscalculations, spelling errors or even unrealistic assumptions then this won’t be doing you any favours and you may even find that it does more harm than good.
Your business plan’s financial information will probably come under some degree of scrutiny. Your cash flow should always be documented in full and you also have to make sure that your sales predictions are very well-founded. If they aren’t then your investors will find out about this information very quickly. Sure, costs are easier to predict when compared to sales, but you have to make sure that you are basing your information on some degree of fact. If you don’t then your investors will see right through it.