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Elements of a Great Business Plan
Now, not to undermine certain aspects or sections of a business plan, but certain elements are vitally important when taking your business plan from good to great.
Know Your Audience
Most people write business plans with the motivation of securing capital, whether equity, debt, or a hybrid of the two. Therefore, when writing your business plan you must the write the plan in a way that is intriguing, excites the reader, and thoroughly explains the business and why it will succeed.
Try and put yourself in the shoes of a potential investor and leave your own personal biases behind. Ask yourself: if I was an investor what would I want to see in this business plan? Assess all strengths and weaknesses and then make sure to send the draft plan to friends, family, colleagues, etc. and ask them to assess the plan from the same perspective.
Any person or institution thinking of investing a sum of money into a business is looking for alleviation of risk. They are going to thoroughly vet every part of your business to try and ensure that they will get a return on investment or at least break even on the transaction.
The essential elements they are looking for here: is there a REAL addressable market need for the company's existence? How does the business make money? Once these two important elements are explained, any investor will then assess the management team. As Jeff Bezos once stated, "I invest in people" speaking of his $250,000 investment given to Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google.
Save the Sales Lingo and Generalizations
When drafting your business plan write from a very analytical standpoint following an exact process of moving from one section to the next. By analyzing the competition, understanding the size and dynamics of the industry and then assessing market size, growth rate and need based on trends, you will have a much better sense of how to position your company so that it entices the reader to keep reading.
You do not need to over-sell or make generalizations about your company that are not supported by the research you have done. For example, Company ABC is "best", "only", "greatest", etc. Also, try and shy away from comparatives such as we are the "Amazon of _______" or the "Facebook of _______" or the next Google. These generalizations are not only a dime a dozen in the business plan world but they are unrealistic comparables.
Furthermore, you want to describe your company based on the market need: what will your customers find the most valuable about your products or services? What really makes your company stand out? Where is the pain in the market?
The best business plans show the opportunity that exists in the market and then prove through quantifiable data and research how they are going to capitalize on this opportunity. No stone is left unturned as far as research, development, and strategy for each section of the business plan. Everything written should be realistic and alleviate any doubts, anxiety, or questions marks that a potential investor might have. You must not exaggerate customer acquisition, website traffic, growth rates, or anything that may overly enhance market potential. If you have revenues of $200 million in year 5, you may want to reassess your assumptions.
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Visit this link to learn more: http://www.growthink.com/products/business-plan-template
OR, Let Us Develop Your Business Plan For You
Our professional business plan consultants can create your entire business plan for you. We will make sure your business plan is sound and ready for investors so you can continue to focus on running your business. Over the past decade, we have created business plans for hundreds of entrepreneurs like you.
For a FREE initial consultation, call 800-506-5728 or complete the form below.
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