Building a Better Business Plan
One of the most important aspects of starting a business is to have a good business plan in place. However, this is an area where many new business owners tend to fail. They spend all of their time worrying about their website, their products, and their online content. While all of those things are important, you need to have a plan in place before you can begin. A good business plan will help to increase your company’s chance of survival in the highly competitive marketplace. Let’s look at some tips on creating a stronger business plan.
Think About the Audience
Who will be reading the business plan? Are you writing the business plan as a roadmap for the way you will do business now and into the foreseeable future, or are you writing the plan in an effort to get funding for the business. Think about what each of those very different audiences would want to see and know, and write accordingly. It’s generally a good idea to have a business plan for each of these types of audiences. Just tweak each of them so they fit the people reading them before submitting.
For example, the business plan that you would submit to a prospective investor would contain more information about the return on their investment. They are the audience in this case, and you need to write to them.
Know Your Market and Your Competition
When you are writing your business plan, you have to first understand the market you are entering. You need to know the size of the market, as well as the projected growth. You should also know how you plan to gain access to the potential market that is out there. Where will you find your audience and what is the best way to reach them. At this point, you should already be thinking about the type of content that you will have on your site to help draw in the visitors.
In addition, you have to know what your competition is already doing. How much competition do you have and how do they conduct business? What is it that you are doing that will make you better or somehow more attractive to customers or clients than the competition?
The Executive Summary
Do not forget the importance of the executive summary, which generally comes close to the end of the business plan. It essentially summarizes the most important parts of the plan into a short, succinct section. This is important because there will always be some investors out there that flip right to this summary without reading the rest of the report. They might like what they see and then go back and read the entire business plan. However, if the executive summary does not catch their attention, they will not bother looking at the rest of the plan.
Once you have completed your business plan, look it over again, this time for little factual errors that you might have made. Then, look it over a third time looking for spelling errors. These tips should help you to make a stronger business plan overall.