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