Starting a business is both a thrilling and daunting task. Your brilliant idea on what will be the next big thing can get you excited and make you throw yourself right away to work. What most aspiring entrepreneurs miss if not forget, especially those seeking investors, is that writing a well-thought-out business plan should be the first order of business.
What is a business plan?
It is a document that lays out the what, why, how, and the future of your big idea. Sounds simple, right? However, if you’re like many first-time entrepreneurs, who scratch their heads when a prospective investor or creditor asks for it, knowing what to write and presenting it as an impressive document that will get the nods for funding is challenging. This is where business plan templates come in handy!
Tricks in writing a great business plan
Let’s say you’re already clear on your business objective, strategies to make your product or service sell, and assumed outcome. Moreover, all you have to do is transform those ideas into a presentable business plan that will give investors or creditors a clear and formal overview of what’s in it for them in your proposed venture. Just follow some of these tricks in creating a business plan.
Use a business plan template
Ready-made templates are like forms or questionnaires that you only need to fill out and answer. You don’t have to worry about what to write as the template is already organised in a way that all information most banks, private investors, or venture capitalists look for will be presented to expound the viability of your planned business idea. A business plan template should consist of the following:
- Mission statement
- Company Profile
- Products or Services
- Marketing Strategies
- Financial Plan
- Profit and Loss Projections
Make it simple
Be concise in your writing. Convey your ideas with simple words or sentences that can be immediately understood. In presenting numbers or data, use basic tables and charts. Keep in mind that the person who will read your business proposal could only have less than five minutes to go over your document. So, quickly impress them not with your words but with your big idea.
Do your research
Your template will only be as good as your idea. It will only point out wherein the document you should place your strategies, action plans, and projections but the quality of your business plan relies so much on the market research that you’ll do before formally writing it. This way, it can also guide you whether or not you are right with your assumptions.
Using a business plan template?
Here’s a quick checklist to get you started.
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- Define your business type. Are you a tech startup? Maybe a startup business plan template will suit you. Although most business plan templates carry a standard format, it can also vary in the type of business you’re putting up.
- Choose your ideal design. The look and feel of a template should reflect your business identity. Is your business bold and serious or warm and friendly? Keep that in mind, when browsing through a gallery of business plan templates.
- Skip the executive summary. It may be the first entry that you will find in the template, but it’s the last part that you will write as it is a summary of everything you have laid out in the plan.
- Edit if necessary. Don’t be afraid to edit your business plan template. Sometimes some sections are not applicable to your business. You can skip or edit it out.
- Review and finalise your business plan. After putting all the information and data, don’t miss to go over your written plan and make sure that every detail is correct, especially those commas and zeros in your financial forecasts. Watch out for those typos, too, as it can make or break a business deal.
Once you have your business plan ready, always be confident in handing it out to potential investors, partners, or creditors so you can finally get the funding your business deserves.