4 Tips For Writing a Killer Business Plan
If your dream is to start your own business, then at some point you’ll need to write a business plan. Anyone you approach for funding, whether that’s a bank or an investor, will expect to see a comprehensive business plan and will be judging your suitability for finance on that plan. Even if you’re self-financing for now, a business plan will allow you to focus your efforts and give you goals to aim for. Here are our four sure-fire tips to make your plan great.
1. Use plain language and concrete terms
Investors want to know what your business is all about, what it plans to achieve, and how it plans to do so. They don’t want to have to wade through overly-technical jargon, or flowery descriptors, in order to get to that information. Explain it in the same terms that you’d use when you tell your friends what you do, and use concrete figures and timelines wherever possible when delineating your goals. And be ruthless about it: go through your finished business plan and cut out every adjective. Chances are that the document will read more strongly because of it. If you struggle with written language, consider hiring a professional to go through your draft and polish it for you.
2. Use visuals
Graphics and charts are great ways to bring your concept to life, break up walls of text, and make your information more easily digestible for your audience. Used well, visuals are also a great way of forcing you to distill your information down to its bones, which forces you to concentrate on what really matters and zero in on those elements for a stronger business.
3. Acknowledge your competition
Know who your direct competitors are and state why your product or service is superior. What market edge do you have? Your business won’t exist in a vacuum and your business plan will be much stronger if you acknowledge that at the outset and lay out a plan for beating the competition.
4. Support your facts
If your plan is predicated on the idea that 80% of young women buy athleisure wear, back up that statistic. If 65% of customers are dissatisfied with their current banking options, support that assertion as well. Investors will expect you to be able to prove all of your facts and figures, so get ahead of them and make sure they’re included in the plan.
While you’re writing your plan, also keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be a chore. Sit with it and really focus on the process. After all, this is your passion and hopefully the work you’ll be doing for years to come, so make time to dig down and enjoy the planning stage. You never know, you might find that you get another killer idea while you’re doing it!
For more business plan tips and resources, visit the Australian Government business hub here.
This article was written by Tanya Ashworth-Keppel on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources were used to compile this article: Forbes, Small Biz Club and Entrepreneur.