Get ready. Get set. Just don’t start putting ink on your business plan just yet. Since your business plan is so important in securing funding and moving your business forward for substantial success, you don’t want to rush into the writing process.
Take the time to prepare by doing the following:
Understand the basic format of a business plan and why this format is so important
Solidify your business concept and make sure you know what you want to do
Gather information needed for all sections of the business plan
Ensure you have the resources on board to make this business a success
If you can move through all of these preparation steps and maintain confidence in your business concept, then you will know you are ready to start putting ink onto the business plan. So many entrepreneurs take a nugget of an idea and jump straight into tapping out the business plan. They typically run into problems because they are not prepared to put the plan together in an effective, solid manner.
At the very least, make sure you understand the basic format of a business plan. You may get creative ideas for establishing a format for your own plan, but this is always a mistake. There is one set format for the plan for a very good reason: investors know their way around this format. No investor has the time to sort through a business plan that is not laid out correctly. They want to flip to the sections of most interest without wading through the entire thing at once.
The standard format will also ensure you put all necessary information into your business plan. Step away from the standard format and you are likely to leave out vital information, and that will cost your business when you start looking for investors.
You also need a solid business concept before you start putting the plan together. You must know what your business will offer, and how they will top all other businesses offering the same thing to the same market. You must know your competitors as well as your target market. If you don’t know your business very well, you will struggle to put together an effective business plan that convinces investors to stand behind you.
Resources are very important when you go into the business plan writing process. You will need the time to do all of the appropriate research and put the plan together in an efficient manner. You may need to put out some money to seek professional advice or hire an accountant to put together the financial aspects of your business plan. You may even need to secure human resources in the form of partners who will work with you to make your business successful.
If all of this makes your head spin, go back to the list presented above and start with the first item of preparation. If you take the time to prepare now, you will spare yourself a lot of headache during the writing process.