There is one business plan tip I give above all else, particularly if the goal of your business plan is to access funding.
This tip is to treat your business plan like a brochure or marketing document with the key goal being to get readers excited about your company. This tip and other critical business plan tips are explained in detail below.
Your Business Plan as a Brochure
When you create a brochure, you must determine they key value propositions that customers care about. For example, in the toothpaste business, certain brands promote whitening your teeth. Others promote anti-cavity properties. Some focus on fresh breath and still others promote all or several of these value propositions.
What toothpaste companies do is very simple, but powerful: they figure out what their customers want, and then position their offering as the perfect solution. Importantly, in addition to simply telling customers their product is right, they prove it. For instance, they mention their ingredients, show before and after photos, or tell what percentage of dentists trust them.
Identify Your Target Audience & Needs
Now, let’s move back to your business plan. Because a successful business plan does much of what the toothpaste companies do. The first thing to do when creating your business plan is to identify your target audience. This audience may, for example, be banks, angel investors or venture capitalists.
Next, think about their needs. Their needs are generally to fund a company that’s going to give them the greatest potential for a high return on their investment with the lowest possible risk
Prove Your Case in Your Business Plan
So, to write a business plan that gets you funded, you need to convince readers that you have a business with growth potential and with as little risk as possible.
You also need to show you have a product or service with unique attributes. And you want to prove your market is large, and ideally growing, and present your proof in the form of market research and statistics.
Finally, you want to prove the competence of your team. Show what your team has already accomplished in the past, in order to give readers the impression they can do it again.
Some additional business plan tips to boost your chances of raising funding include:
- Proofread your plan. Typos and/or grammatical errors will cause you and your plan to lose credibility.
- Keep it concise: 15 to 25 pages is a great length for a business plan. Don’t bore your readers with useless information.
- Create realistic financial assumptions: don’t show growth rates that no company in the history of the world has ever achieved
To summarize, in order to write a business plan that gets you funded, you need to start by considering your target market. Think about their needs and the value proposition they seek. Then deliver your answers in a well-written, easy to digest document that excites rather than bores them. Keep your plan concise and well-formatted, with realistic assumptions, and you will put yourself in the best position possible to raise money for your business.
Business Plan Tips Infographic
Below is an infographic of this article for quick reference.
Business Plan Tips Slideshare
We put together the slide presentation below to show you “10 Tips For a Successful Business Launch.” In addition to the business plan tips above, this should help you better understand the keys to ultimate building a thriving business. Good luck!