The Most Common Business Plan Mistakes

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A business plan is your road map to growing your new company. A strong business plan can mean the difference between the next great startup and an idea still floating around in your head.

Business plans need to be enticing, thorough and well written to attract investors. When writing your business plan, avoid these five common mistakes.

1) You forgot a section (or three).

business plan and marketing strategy

Strategic Planning by Viral Solutions – This service digs deep into your processes, your systems and your strategy. We make sure you have defined, rigidly and systematically, your perfect prospective customer. This definition must include the obvious demographics but more importantly the psycho-graphics. Then we test your will power to prove that your approach, your tactics, your messages and your core offerings match what that perfect prospective customer is looking for. We require that you understand and can articulate your plan, your vision, your position statement effectively and with fire in your gut. With our strategic planning session your target customer will be redefined, your marketing tactics will no longer be in question, you will have a strong and decisive position statement, you’ll know your strengths, admit to your weaknesses, relish in your accomplishments and learn from your mistakes.

Investors look at a lot of business plans, and will immediately notice if something is missing. Your business plan should address:

• Customers
• Products/services
• Marketing
• Management
• Operations
• Goals and objectives
• Financial projections
• Industry trends

You’ll waste valuable time with potential investors if the meeting is spent catching them up on information that should have been included.

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2) You forgot to proofread.
Proper spelling and grammar count. A sloppy presentation – in writing and in person – can be a turnoff even if your plan is great. It sends the message that if you’re unable to focus on those minor details, you might overlook other areas of the business too.

3) You didn’t do your research.
Your business plan is one large assumption, but that assumption needs to be grounded in research. Is there a demand for your business? What need does it address? Who are your competitors? Your plan should cite respectable sources that address your customers, the product or service, competitors, the market and the industry.

4) It’s not concise.
The business plan should be complete and thorough, but not so long that the reader forgets your point – or worse, stops reading. Background and research are important, but everything needs to directly relate to your overall business objective, clearly stated in the summary.

5) It’s not realistic.
While everyone hopes his or her business takes off quickly, it’s important to be honest about what you and your team can accomplish. The research and industry trends component can help provide context for what you expect so that the timeline and financial projections account for realistic growth.

A strong business plan sets the tone for your business’s growth. Avoid these mistakes by getting feedback on your business plan before showing it to potential investors.

Copyright 2015 Viral Solutions LLC

by Thomas von Ahn | Chief Elephant Slayer

We help overwhelmed small business owners duplicate themselves – so business can be fun again.
Viral Solutions LLC is a Digital Marketer Certified Partner, an Infusionsoft Certified Consultant, a Google Partner – Certified in AdWords and a Mobit Certified Partner.

 

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Filed Under: Analytics

About Thomas von Ahn

With more than 30 years of experience in B2B sales across various industries, Thomas has unique insight into both the offline and online sales sphere. It was during his time in the trenches that Thomas noticed a recurring theme: Though business owners are knowledgeable about their craft or trade, they often struggle to market and sell to their prospects. This realization is what prompted Thomas and his now business partner, Christine, to bring Viral Solutions to life. Since starting the company, Thomas has been able to assist countless business owners in developing a solid marketing plan based upon sound marketing strategy, then assigning the marketing tactics to a team of talented employees, and, finally, watching those actions unfold—his true passion.

Though Viral Solutions is on Thomas’ mind 24/7, he does occasionally take a break to cheer on the Green Bay Packers and enjoy his adopted home of Wisconsin. Much of his family also works at Viral Solutions, and this closeness with family and employees is the cornerstone of the Viral Solutions culture.