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One of the first things you should consider in writing a business plan is the audience you plan to reach.Writing the plan to attract investors will require substantially more persuasion than writing a business plan to keep yourself on track.
Looking for Capital Investment If the primary objective of writing the business plan is to attract investment capital, then the plan should reveal your vision of the company alongside a healthy dose of salesmanship to convince investors that your plan is feasible and will be profitable.
You have to show investors that you are an expert in your field, or that you at least have a solid grasp of the industry (this is where heavy numbers and analysis come into play) and how your company can excel in that business climate.
Even if you're not a financial expert, you will need to absorb and master certain financial concepts -- for the health of your business as well as for the business plan.
General concepts such as breakeven analysis (how and when the business will turn a profit), estimating startup costs, and financing basics such as cash flow projection and management are essential. Even if the business plan is targeted at yourself simply to keep you on target, you will want the most accurate projections of financial stability.
Stay on Target If the business plan is intended primarily as a tool to keep your business on target (i.e., you are not seeking outside investment), most of your energy ought to be spent analyzing and predicting financial information.
You're not pitching the business to yourself, so you can dispense with most of the salesmanship, but keep it professional since you may be showing your plan to contractors, employees, customers, etc. As long as the financial projections are accurate and you competently describe your business operations and goals, you'll be in good shape to keep your business on the right path.You should consider seeking advice from mentors -- business people who have experience and can shorten your learning curve -- if this is your first time.And while it is not necessary to hire an attorney when drafting a business plan, it's usually beneficial to have an attorney help you in the beginning stages of starting a business.These plans force owners to think strategically and analyze with clarity the current business climate rather than simply leaping into a situation before looking.A good business plan doesn't guarantee success, but a company without a solid business plan is far less likely to succeed than a business built around a carefully considered plan. Generally speaking, business plans define the business by identifying goals and setting out how you aim to achieve them.Think of your business plan as the resume of your company that will be examined by an employer.You want to accentuate the positive, while remaining honest about your ability and experience.It's difficult to project an aura of confidence if there are grammatical or mathematical errors, or if the plan is otherwise poorly presented.Numbers should be double-checked by someone with professional experience and the actual writing ought to be assigned to someone within the company who has experience writing business plans or farmed out to a professional writer who can better present the message.Business plans should include: The plan you present to investors should track the three objectives of a business plan mentioned above (communication, management, and planning), and highlight the strengths of your business model and the niche in which the business will operate.Particularly true of business plans aimed at attracting capital investment, your business plan should be polished and professional.