Writing a business plan: overview and objectives
The business plan is a selling document. It should demonstrate that a business can sell enough of its products or services to generate a profit and should attract investors or lenders. The business plan should also assist the entrepreneur in planning for all aspects of starting or growing his or her business. It is important to take the time to demonstrate how much you know about the business and walk through each step of the planning process. To reach the goals and objectives of the business plan it is extremely helpful to set timelines and describe specific benchmarks that should be met.
Writing a business plan could be really stressful. If you need to relieve your stress in process you should go on a little break, even for a week: this will help you find your inspiration again.
Most business plan readers, particularly potential investors, read any business plan with scepticism. Therefore, the plan must clearly disclose all information relevant to the company, its business, management, products, and accounts. The reader should not be surprised by additional information or discover that the plan withheld contentious points or potentially negative information which is critical to analyzing and assessing the risks inherent to an industry, or the company specifically. Give the reader an honest story and disclose all necessary information which would affect any owner or involve any potential investor.
Common Pitfalls When Writing Business a Plan:
- The writing is unclear and difficult to understand.
- Too long. Get to the point, support it with facts when necessary, and move on.
- Poor layout. The layout should be logical and can be enhanced by including illustrations, pictures or products, or graphs.
- Omission of an executive summary.
- Too much technical jargon. Define product features in layman’s terms.
- Insufficient detail on the qualifications of the management.
- Market ignorance. Lack of customer knowledge and their wants and needs.
- No competition. Worse than stating that there is no competition is to show a superficial review of the competition.
- Creative accounting format. Do not make up a style to present financial information, use standard format.
- No reason to invest. Give a compelling reason to invest NOW!