A serious and professional business plan will also help you unlock funds. Indeed, a business plan is an essential document that will support a request for financing.
However, writing a business plan is a daunting task. We do not write a complete business plan, from a blank sheet, in 1 hour. Instead, building a business plan easily takes several weeks.
Without the right method, you can easily miss your business plan. Conversely, a business plan that is too long, incomplete, or even poorly written will not allow you to obtain financing.
This article gives you our top 10 tips for writing a business plan. BEFORE YOU START WRITING A BUSINESS PLAN
1 – Do some research
You will need to research your sector, changes, target market, consumption habits, competitors, strengths and weaknesses, etc. Once this market study has been carried out, your research work will allow you to give substance to your future business plan.
2 – Throw all your ideas in the draft by category
Do not jump straight into writing your business plan. Instead, write “with dashes” so as not to waste time and to be sure not to forget anything. You can also structure your approach using tools such as mental maps (or map minding).
3 – Find a business plan model adapted to your project
Why start from scratch when experts have already spent hours researching and analyzing your industry? Use an editable business plan template to save time and maximize your chances of a successful business plan. WHILE WRITING A BUSINESS PLAN
4 – Short and impactful sentences
Don’t forget that, especially in a funding request, the business plan must convince its reader that the underlying project is solid and under control. So use clear, non-technical language and short, direct sentences. Avoid frills.
5 – Pay attention to the length
Beginning entrepreneurs often lack self-confidence and write business plans that are far too long. Do not exceed forty pages. Do not try to furnish with unnecessary items. Instead, explain and comment on your project in the business plan and use the annexes for additional documents (market study, complete SWOT, complete forecast, etc.).
6 – Prefer diagrams and graphs rather than long and monotonous texts
There is no point in putting the reader to sleep. Instead, make your business plan attractive: use tables, diagrams, and graphic representations, which allow a quick, pleasant, and effective reading of your business plan. Remember to annotate and comment on them.
7 – Figures and data
Be rigorous in your arguments. Figures and facts are authoritative, much more than endless explanations. However, they must be explained and argued.
AFTER WRITING A BUSINESS PLAN
8 – Re-read
Yes, writing a business plan is long and tedious. But, yes, you will have an important document at the end of the writing.
However, you still need to make one last effort: proofreading. Spelling mistakes and bad punctuation could hurt you, so read it again. Proofreading also allows you to ensure the consistency of the document and all the content (figures, explanations, calculations, graphics, etc.)
9 – Have someone in your family proofread it.
Now that your business plan is complete, written, and proofread, you need to ensure that it is easy to understand.
You are an entrepreneur and probably a specialist in your industry. You know your product (or service) by heart. However, will this be the case for the banker or investor who reads your business plan? Not necessarily.
Your business plan should be written in simple sentences that everyone can understand. Have someone outside your industry proofread your business plan and ask them if they can easily understand it and your future strategy.
10 – Prepare the questions that you may be asked
A business plan is, more or less, a standardized and summarized presentation of your project. In your business plan, you don’t have to explain everything in depth (remember: you have to keep it brief and concise). However, your reader will surely want to ask you additional questions. Prepare them.
To sell your project, the content of your business plan must be impeccable. In addition, concrete elements must support each assertion or assumption of sale or calculation. Remember to present your market research, the skills of your team, and your strategy with tools like a SWOT analysis, a BCG matrix, and a porter value chain analysis…)
It will also be necessary to show the prospects for profitability thanks to tools such as the business model Canvas and a precise financial forecast.
These elements can be mentioned in the business plan and attached to the annexes. Click here for more information.
Research, writing, and formatting are the three important steps in a business plan. It’s hard to put together business plans. But it’s easy to succeed if you use the right method and work hard.
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