As an aspiring entrepreneur, writing a sound business plan is a major milestone to complete. A business plan is the roadmap and guide for your new business. It contains the goals and detailed steps to achieve them. Without a proper plan you’ll be throwing around dirt everywhere and see which one sticks.
How to Write a Business Plan
While there is more than one way to write business plans, there are some pointers that can help you write one quickly.
Keep It Short
Keep your business plan short and easy to read. Ideally, it should fit in a single page. This is especially important if you wish for others to read it. People tend to let out a long sigh when presented with an 80-page business plan. It’s tiring just to look at it.
In the future, as your business grows, you can review it and make revisions. That’s not only allowed but actually the norm. If you end up with a 40-page business plan in the next decade, so be it. For now, let’s start simple.
Keep It Simple
Let’s say you’re working on a startup that plans to build a smarter, more robust, and scalable cloud solution like no one has ever seen before. Refrain from using technical jargons. Your audience may not be so technically inclined. Your new business plan will look like gibberish to them.
It’s best if you state the potential savings in terms of time and money of your solution. Everyone understands the two easily.
Write What Matters
You don’t have to put everything into the business plan. Here are 5 important things that needs to be in a business plan:
This is the overview of what your business is. A paragraph or two will suffice.
- What you have to offer
Explain the product or service your company is planning to make. Who are your target market and competitors?
This is the step-by-step plan of business operation and marketing. Jot down the milestones you wish to achieve.
- Who’s on your team
You’re not planning a one-man show, right? List everyone on your team and how their skills fit with the plan.
- Financial forecast
How much capital will you need? How are you planning to spend them? Be sure to include the cash-flow statement, expense budget, and more importantly the sales forecast.
Good figures back your plan much more than words. Like it or not, banks and investors care more about the bottom line than your hopes and dreams. When you write a business plan, use graphics to make things easier to grasp in a single glance.
Another point worth noting is that before you send your business plan to potential investors make sure it’s free from spelling errors. You may think of them as minor issues, but your investors could see that as a sign of inattentiveness to details. The may see such negligence as a huge red flag. That won’t bode well to your plan of acquiring extra capital.
Do your best to weed out the grammatical and spelling errors and make it a perfectly-written business plan. To save your time, just use the online spellcheck tool. It’s really handy.