A well written business plan is the backbone for moving a business in a new direction or beginning a new business. The Plan can be as little as one page to as big as a hundred pages. The process can be daunting and sometimes takes a long time. If you are writing a business plan the choice has been made to change your life, so use these few tips to make the process run a bit smoother.
A business plan is generally not written once, just to get money from a bank. It is a document that can be referred to and will help with the operations of the business. The business plan generally has three basic parts, the Business Plan, the Financial Plan and the Marketing Plan. Each part works together to present a whole business. Here are some tips to help.
Be enthusiastic with your words. The explanation of your unique selling opportunity and position must be clearly stated. The person that is reading the plan must be convinced that that the business will succeed.
Accuracy counts big time. Make sure that the enthusiasm is seen, but that the facts and figures tell an accurate story. Make sure that the skills and experience of the management team is correct and matches the industry that is being entered. Readers will want to know who the people.
Document all parts of the plan. Good record keeping is essential in developing a good plan. Note articles, facts, and figures with the source that you used to acquire the information. Claims that are unsubstantiated will generally not be tolerated by readers of your business plan.
Make sure that all assumptions are written out and clearly documented. It is ok to have assumption, just note where they are and rationalize them so the reader will know what is assumed and what is documented.
Think about Cash Flow, not profit. Where is the money coming from and where is it going. The profit will show itself when the cash flow is managed properly. Build the income statements and Balance sheets yourself. Make sure you know what is being entered in the business plan.
When developing the milestone plan, use generic months and years (month six, year 2). This will allow for changes to be made easier when the industry or economics change. Always develop an aggressive schedule that will impress potential investors.
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