Effective business planning can be the key to your success. A business plan can help you secure finance, prioritise your efforts and evaluate opportunities. It may initially seem like a lot of work; however a well prepared business plan can save you time and money in the long run.
Make it clear and concise; include only the most important elements, keeping it at a maximum of half a page. To create the summary go back over your plan, pick three or four key messages and write a brief overview, then conclude with details of the action you want the reader to take.
Don’t make common mistakes. I’ve seen thousands of business plans, good and bad, and I can tell you that avoiding these common business planning errors will put you far ahead of the curve.
Business plans are decision-making tools. The content and format of the business plan is determined by the goals and audience. For example, a business plan for a non-profit might discuss the fit between the business plan and the organization’s mission. Banks are quite concerned about defaults, so a business plan for a bank loan will build a convincing case for the organization’s ability to repay the loan. Venture capitalists are primarily concerned about initial investment, feasibility, and exit valuation. A business plan for a project requiring equity financing will need to explain why current resources, upcoming growth opportunities, and sustainable competitive advantage will lead to a high exit valuation.
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