Are you a young entrepreneur or a business professional ready to venture out on your own? The backbone of your success becomes your business plan. If you don’t know where to begin, there are a few tips that can take you a long way.
Do your research.
Dave Lavinsky from Forbes says, “It’s the thinking and strategizing part which is actually more important than the writing part,” so sit down and think through the tough questions before you start writing. It will make your job much easier in the long run. If you can confidently answer in detail what makes your company uniquely different and needed, then you are ready to pick up a pen.
Investors are going to make you sweat. It is their job. While they may take a chance on you, don’t confuse it as a gamble. They want to know every detail, so they know exactly how you are going to make them money, not lose it. You don’t want to get caught with a question you can’t answer especially since it’s usually completely avoidable. As business professional, William Pirraglia, says “To write the perfect plan, you must know your company, your product, your competition and the market intimately.” If you care about your business, do your due diligence.
Don’t assume that detailed means boring.
You need to have all the information while still providing an enjoyable read. Dense business plans don’t land. Simply put, if you can’t make your reader excited about your business than how do you expect to make customers excited? As Dave Lavinsky says, “Treat your business plan like a marketing document, because that’s what it is. You are marketing your company to investors, lenders and others.” It takes some level of finesse to sell someone on anything.
You can’t expect to win the first time you play a game. Along the same vein, you can’t expect a bank to fund you the first time you pitch to them. Nothing good comes easy and starting your business is definitely not going to be easy. Still, if you are passionate and persistent and you believe in your plan keep trying. Eventually, you will find the right backer.
In the words of entrepreneur and billionaire, Richard Branson, “If you have enough determination…. It’s more likely that you will succeed because of what you learned from the occasions when you didn’t succeed. The most important thing is to not be put off by failure.” Take the time to do the work now, so you don’t have to struggle later. Remember, success doesn’t come easy so stay with it and just because you’ve done the work doesn’t mean you have to throw the book at your audience. You want them to be as passionate about your idea as you are.