How Do I Write a Business Plan?

Why Write A Business Plan?

How Do I Write A Business Plan is a question very much on a business executives mind usually around mid-year or during the last quarter of the financial year? As it is part of the management process, most businesses would have scheduled the business plan sub-process to start at a suitable time of the year. There are others, usually small independent entrepreneurs who may probably put it together as the need arises. This could be due to the need to apply for financial assistance or to impress a third party on some important business matter or venture. However it is done, a business plan is important as it serves as a performance reference, sets the business direction and rallies the team to an agreed business objective.

The 7 Elements Of A Business Plan

Executive summary which is written after the plan is finalized. It briefly provides an overview of the business plan in terms of the approach employed and key considerations in terms of business offerings, key staff and expectations in terms of financial results.

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Ten Important Things to Think About When Writing a Business Plan

1. Whether you are raising money, borrowing it, or financing a new business yourself, you should force yourself to put into writing a detailed business plan for what you have in mind. Without one, you most likely will be unsuccessful at obtaining money. With one you can guide yourself and your management team through the entire start-up process in an organized and successful manner. That being said, having a written business plan is a must.

2. If you are raising money for your business, you should first carefully think about who potentially will be providing the funds to start the business. For example, if you are hoping to borrow from a bank, your plan should clearly address the risks involved in the business with emphasis on the new business’s ability to pay back any loans obtained. If you are soliciting funds from investors or venture capitalists, your plan should emphasize the business’s growth potential and it’s subsequent return on invested capital. At every step of the way, you should be conscious of writing FOR and TO the targeted reader of your business plan.

3. Making a detailed outline of what you have in mind is probably the most important thing you can do before you actually start writing your plan. Take your time and give your outline a lot of thought. Organize your thoughts in simple phrases or sentences and number and letter each phrase or sentence. Break down big topics into smaller, detailed lists of specific things that must be researched or said. Composing a detailed outline can be tedious, but don’t slack off on this crucial part of the process. Writing from a carefully written outline will give your business plan a definite beginning, middle, and end.

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5 Business Plan Mistakes – How To Avoid Them

If you are preparing to raise capital from either an investor or a bank, you’re probably writing a business plan. Here are five of the most common mistakes that I have seen as a result of my experience as a corporate-finance consultant:

Submitting the Plan to the Wrong PeopleI have actually heard entrepreneurs say, “I don’t know why I can’t raise any money. I’ve sent my business plan to hundreds of people!” Don’t make this same mistake.

You should first determine that your prospective investor or lender has an interest in your industry and your business. Do this by making a call or sending an introductory letter or e-mail. If you can receive a referral from an accountant, attorney, or banker, that is all the better.

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