Many lenders won’t give you money unless they know you have a well-thought out strategy for where you’re going and how you’ll get there.Even if you’re approaching friends and family for money, people who won’t require you to have a plan, it will be helpful to write one.Do you have a clear idea of the type of people (or businesses) who will buy your product or service? This is one of the first questions any investor will ask you about your business plan.
You know the market, you have the necessary skills. This must be brief, to catch and hold people’s attention.
Try to describe the goal and mission of your business in just a couple of sentences. Treat this section as an ‘elevator pitch’ document – it should be succinct and easy to remember.
That's more likely to convince investors that you're serious.
Your business plan is a roadmap for your business – but it's not set in stone.
Try to cover all departments too, including sales and customer service. You'll need people you can trust, to guide and mentor you at times when you need it. Complex and long documents won’t be read – either by you or by potential investors.
A business plan should be brief, relevant and focused (you can use our free business plan template). The core of a good business plan should be just a few pages long.And as we said, it’s a worthwhile investment of time and effort even if you don’t need to present it to potential investors.1) Focus – Writing a business plan will help you gather all of your ideas in one place, hone your message and crystallize your vision.5) Objectivity – Talking to friends and family about your great idea can make it seem like a can’t-miss proposition.The supportive environment can make it difficult to anticipate real-world bumps and business realities.What other opportunities will you have if your business grows as planned? You need to explain how your business will differentiate itself from all the others. What are the daily tasks that need to be done when running the business?That might be based on price, service, quality, range or value. Include all business processes such as manufacture and packaging. How will you find people whose skills complement yours? Also think about who you want as your business advisors.Simply by going through all the necessary steps to put one together, you’ll wind up with a clearer idea of what you’re trying to accomplish and many of the challenges you might face along the way.Certainly, if you’re going to try to get money from a bank, a government-backed lender, a venture capitalist, or a community development financial institution (CDFI), you will need a formal business plan.You may be wondering why you need a plan in the first place.After all, you have a clear idea in your mind about what you want to achieve. Here are just a few of them: This is where you describe your company and the product or service that it will sell.