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GreatFX Business Cards Small Business Buzz Common Mistakes – How to Write a Business Plan – Part 7 of 8
Small Business BuzzCommon Mistakes – How to Write a Business Plan – Part 7 of 8
A doubleshot of business news espresso with extra froth
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COMMON BUSINESS PLAN MISTAKES
Failure to be Clear and Concise
1. Avoid Grammatical and Mathematical Errors
2. Simplify the Style/Format
The format of your Business Plan should remain simple as well. As I suggested before, use ever possible means to make your Business Plan easy to read, such as a table of contents and tabbed and labeled sections. Each section of your business plan should be in outline format, with bullet points, roman numerals, etc. This, again, makes for a smoother read.
Failure to Utilize the Input of Your Team
Part of the preparation of your Business Plan should be various meetings with your team to discuss your financials, research, the organizational structure of your company, etc. Not only will this help to make your Business Plan more concise, but it will help your business overall by invoking communication and participation from everyone.
Overestimating Financial Projections
Instead, be conservative on your financial projections. Rather than over-speculating, you may want to consider under-speculating a little. Keep in mind that, should you overestimate and end up making less money than projected, in not only puts your business in a bind, but ruins your credibility. But, if you underestimate and end up making more money than planned, this can do nothing but make your investors happy and aid in future expeditions for funds.
Don’t overlook or avoid your competition. You need to know what their strengths and weaknesses are and how they help or hinder the success of your business. And you need to have data to back that up, otherwise the information is useless.
And, as far as your target market goes, you need to do more than just assume who they are. Find data that shows that they target market you are focusing on actually uses (or has a need for) the product or service you provide. Do so through market testing. All too often business owners think they can get away with skipping the market tests, but that is not the case. Investors and lenders want actual data that shows your product will succeed and market tests are the best source for that data.
Keep in mind that your Business Plan can make or break you. I know that’s pretty harsh and straight forward, but it’s the truth. This is not something that can be completed overnight, in a week or even in a month (unless you spend every waking hour working on it). It will take a lot of time and work – and expectedly, some frustration. But if you make the extra effort to be sure your Business Plan is the best it can be, you’re sure to find success.
Business Plan – Part 1: Overview
Overview – How to Write a Business Plan – Part 1 of 8
Executive Summary, Table of Contents and Appendix – How to Write a Business Plan – Part 6 of 8
Funding Request & Financial Information – How to Write a Business Plan – Part 5 of 8
Market Analysis – How to Write a Business Plan – Part 2 of 8
Define Organizational Structure & Management – How to Write a Business Plan – Part 3 of 8
Tips for Gaining and Impressing Potential Investors
Define Strategies, Service & Product Line – How to Write a Business Plan – Part 4 of 8
Obtaining a Business Loan – How to Write a Business Plan – Part 8 of 8
Starting Your Own Business, Part 2 of 4
Starting Your Own Business, Part 1 of 4
By Michelle Cramer
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 @ 12:06 AM CDT
Operations, Startup |