In the same way algebra and compound fractions have an unrivaled ability to put fear into everyone that has attended school, creating a business plan is that one thing that makes a wannabe business owner-slash-entrepreneur quake in their loafers. But just because they are important and could be the difference between success and failure, they are just another example of something that sounds more complex than it really it.
The truth is: success is totally possible by just following a few simple – but core – steps. Sure, once you have got the basics in place, you can dress it up a bit, add in a bit of creativity, color, and jazz, but that can only happen when you have got the foundations perfectly laid because these are the details that count for the most. It’s about having a plan that’s clear, concise, realistic and, above all, attractive to read.
So, without further ado, here are the things every investor will want to focus on when reading your plan. Get these right and you’re chances will shoot up.
Nail Your Overview
While this will be slotted in at the start of your plan, it might make more sense to write this last, once you have all the little details in place and the practicalities of how to make your business work. Anyway, when you get to this point, your two main focuses should be a) writing an epic executive summary and b) constructing a very clear overview of your business.
Analysis Is Everything
When someone reads your business plan, they are expecting you to be an expert on the market, which is why your research becomes so interesting to them. Start off with in-depth market analysis, giving a broad overview that’s saturated with facts and supporting data – who your target market is and where the gap for your idea lies. After that, show how you plan to compete. Show who your competitors are and how you will disrupt. If you’re going into food delivery or storage, show how you can keep costs low with a cold room service, or if you are starting a content marketing business, explain how you are different. Show where your competitors’ weaknesses are, where you are stronger, what niche you will attack first and always be realistic.
Who You Are, What You Do
This is the question that will be on every investor’s lips, so get fancy with it. Be straightforward because anyone reading your business plan won’t be happy with any ambiguity here. They want to know who has a stake in the business and who will be steering it toward success. So delve into your management team (even if you are going solo) and highlight your profile and experience. Then, once you’ve done this, you’ll want to detail your products and services. It could be a detailed list of everything or just a focus on your core products. Either way, this is your chance to build some excitement – about what you do and who will be doing it. Just make sure there is no fluffiness. Every word needs to be used to your advantage, while your passion needs to shine through.
*This is a contributed post