Entrepreneurs often shutter at the thought of putting together a business plan because they know it can make or break their chances of finding investors. It helps if you think of it as an introduction to your business. You want to show investors who you are, who your customers are, and how you fit into the market. Some other things to keep in mind are detailed below.
Assess Your Chances of Success It’s one thing to know the potential of your business, but another thing entirely to honestly admit whether you are capable of taking it all the way. You may see a clear path for your business to grow with time and penetrate a niche market, but you have to honestly assess whether you have everything it takes to take the market through those steps to the pinnacle of success.
You have to decide whether you can realistically produce your product or if you know where to get the things you need for successful production. You also have to analyze your executives and question whether their past successes and failures look promising for the future of this new company. You also need to honestly evaluate the market to see if there is a place for your business and if you have what it takes to penetrate that market in a reasonable time frame.
Don’t ignore your competitors, either! You have to acknowledge them and determine your ability to overcome them. The same goes with other things that you see standing in the way of your eventual success.
This isn’t all about what you have on hand right now. It comes down to your ability to acknowledge what you have and don’t have, then find ways to get what you don’t have. If you can do that, then you have a good chance of succeeding in the long term.
Find a Good Template
You don’t have to create a business plan completely from scratch on your own. Most people cannot do that even after starting up several successful businesses. Find a good template that includes all standard sections of the business plan, including subtitles. That gives you something to work through so you have some guidance through the process of creating your plan.
Familiarize yourself with the basic plan then do some research and start filling it out, section by section. It helps to complete the executive summary after you have put the rest of the plan together.
Find someone you really trust and get their opinion on your business plan. This has to be someone you know won’t steal any of your ideas, especially your plans for executing and growing the business.
Ask them for constructive criticism and be open to what they have to say. If you listen without being defensiveness, you will get new ideas that will strengthen your business plan.
Plan for Progress
It can take a lot of time to up together a stellar business plan, especially if you include all of the research to collect date for individual sections. It helps to plan ahead for progress.
You can decide to do it all in a week by researching and completing two sections each day, or you can stretch it out into a longer time frame. Put the plan on paper then follow through with action.