- Poorly written and presented
- Lacks details, too vague
- Ask for help
What is a business plan and why do businesses need it?
It is a guide, a roadmap, which outlines your aims and objectives for your business. If you planning on part time or freelance work, its probably not necessary to have one.
However if you are going to run a business which will involve a considerable amount of time and money then you will need a business plan.
Sadly, although there are many potential viable businesses, there business plans can be worthless as they are so badly written. Here are a few mistakes people tend to make;
Is your plan poorly Written
If the plan is written by entrepreneurs, the basics of spelling, punctuation and grammar can be a factor of a poorly written business plan. If you are writing a plan to present to a financial institution or an investor, they are scanning to see what the business is about and what your plans are, so if its covered in basic mistakes it will not fill them with confidence. It is utterly unprofessional. They will move on to the next proposal, so you better check for these mistakes, even get someone else to proof read it and check again.
Check your style, the plan should not be boring. If it is ; confident, crisp, authoritative or formal, you should not have a problem. Consistency is the key and it is written to your target audience.
If you want to open a wine bar, for example, keep it trendy and positive and slightly quirky, after all this will be your customer base in the future.
Is your plan poorly Presented
Now you have a perfectly written plan your presentation should be just as good. Your layout should be consistent and easy to navigate. A future investor will not take kindly to inconsistencies, such as; inconsistent margins, missing page numbers, charts without titles and spelling and grammar mistakes.
New businesses sometimes can take up to a year to write and prepare for their business plans, so before finally presenting to an investor have it proofread and change accordingly. The investor will only have around 10 minutes to read it, so if they cant find a section on Marketing with relevant references, for instance, they will discard your plan and move on.
Is your plan too vague, lacking detail
Some business starters think by writing a general synopsis of their business is sufficient.
Every business is selling products or services to their customers which involves marketing and sales, a management team and of course, competitors.
Your plan should at least, cover all of these areas as well as an indication of your industry trends. Is the market growing, if so is your business able to compete in this market.
Probably the most important section to be include will be detailed financial projections showing monthly cash flows as well as an annual balance sheets going back at least three years.
It is advisable to include understandable, and clear content which is not too detailed, but at the same time is engaging and attractive to the investor. Ask yourself, ‘ why would the investor invest in your business?’
Ask for Help
Having written the relevant information in your business plan, get as much feedback as you can from friends and colleagues, even potential investors. Getting feedback can be demoralizing, however we all know the truth can hurt, but its for the best to get your plan approved by future investors.
Finding a professional who you can guide you to show you the correct process and what information you need to include, as well as packaging your plan into an attractive proposition.
By presenting a clear understandable perception of your products and services that is appealing and provides a road map for your future business, will help make your business plan attractive to your future investors.