You might be a prodigy in quantum mechanics, but if you show up to your interview rocking cargo shorts and lime green Crocs, you can probably guess what the hiring manager is going to notice first.
In the same way, you present your business plan to your readers equally as important as what you present to them.
Here’s the good news: writing your business plan doesn’t have to be this daunting, cumbersome chore.
Once you understand the fundamental questions that your business plan should answer for your readers and how to position everything in a way that compels your them to take action, writing it becomes way more approachable.
if your business plan is laden with inconsistent margins, multiple font types and sizes, missing headings and page numbers, and lacks a table of contents, it’s going to create a far less digestible reading experience.
While there’s no one way to format your plan, the idea here is to ensure that it presents professionally.A good rule of thumb is sticking to standard one-inch margins all around.Your business plan is made up of several key sections, like chapters in a book.Limit your plan to two typefaces (one for headings and one for body copy and subheadings, for example) that you can find in a standard text editor like Microsoft Word or Google Docs.Only pick fonts that are easy to read and contain both capital and lowercase letters.Before you set fingers to the keyboard, we’re going to walk you through the most important things to keep in mind to help you tackle the writing process confidently — with plenty of real life business plan examples along the way! There’s no version of you presenting an 80-page business plan to an investor and they enthusiastically dive in and take hours out of their day to pore over the thing front to back.There’s this oldschool idea that business plans need to be ultra-dense, complex documents the size of a doorstop because that’s how you convey how serious you are about your company. Complexity and length for complexity and length’s sake is almost never a good idea, especially when it comes to writing a business plan. If your chief goal is using your business plan to secure investment capital, then it means you intend on getting it in front of an investor. Instead, they’re looking for you to get your point across as quickly and clearly as possible so they can skim your plan and get to the most salient parts to determine whether or not they think your opportunity is worth pursuing (or at the very least initiating further discussions).Bottom line: always be on the lookout for opportunities to “trim the fat.” If you fill your business plan with buzzwords, industry-specific jargon or acronyms, and long complicated sentences, it might make sense to a handful of people familiar with your niche and those with superhuman attention spans (not many), but it alienates the vast majority of readers who aren’t experts in your particular industry.Your best bet here is to use simple, straightforward language that’s easily understood by anyone — from the most savvy of investor to your Great Aunt Bertha who still uses a landline.At the same time, before you begin shopping your business plan around to investors or bankers, it’s imperative to get a second pair of eyes on it after you’ve put the final period on your first draft.After you run your spell check, have someone with strong “English teacher skills” run a fine-tooth comb over your plan for any spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors you may have glossed over.