What is the perfect business plan? It is a document to get investors excited about your company, but it also acts as a blueprint for the direction you envision your company taking. It is the roadmap to success. It is the design and plans for our company.
First of all, before you do anything, you need to decide where you are going to be doing business. Will your company be formed in the UK, US or in another territory? The activities you do will dictate the answer to this, but there may be very real bottom line advantages of one place over another. If your business is digital then a business registered in a tax friendly country could make a big difference.
Every country has its own rules for registration. Make sure you think about the legal issues before you even start your business plan. They will be an integral part of what goes in the plan, and how it is received by people using it to make decisions.
Consider a loan too if you need a bit of a leg up when starting a business. Everline have some advice about their business loans, so it’s worth checking out their page and keeping it in mind when drawing up plans and approaching potential investors.
While business plans will be, no doubt, stuffed with content and tables, here are 5 major points that should be covered in depth. These five points will help take your business plan to the next level!
Acknowledge those smarter than you
This may seem a bit odd to some, but no matter how smart you think you are; there is always someone else out there smarter than you. Instead of feeling dejected by this realization, embrace it and hire those people!
Whether you have top notch employees, well known mentors, accomplished lawyers on your legal team; whatever it may be show them off. Investors want to know that you have a plan in place, and once that plan is in place they want the best and brightest minds working on it. Show everyone that your company has these things.
Nail that Executive Summary
This is the section that has to be perfect. This is the section that everyone reads before the rest of business plan. If you lose someone’s interest during the Executive Summary, you have almost certainly lost them for the rest of the business plan; and lost them to your business.
Sum up everything that your business is offering and make sure that you yourself have a clear picture of the end goal. This is also where you want to describe how investors will get a return on their investment, and what guarantees you are putting in place to ensure they get their money back.
Remember that this section is where you sell your business, keep the rest of your business plan for the exact details.
Create a Marketing Strategy
It does not matter if you have the best product in the world; if no one knows about it, the product simply will not sell. Have a marketing plan ready. Make sure this plan is well thought up and incredibly detailed on how you will drive customers to your product.
This could be done through social media, through SEO, or maybe by putting on live events. What matters is that you have a clear cut marketing plan to attract and retain customers.
Know your Market
It is incredibly important for you to know exactly who your target audience is and why they will buy your product. You also need to know who your competitors are and why customers are currently choosing their products to buy.
A unique selling point investors love to hear is how you plan on taking these customers from your competitor and retaining them. If you have a laid out plan detailing this exact topic, you will catch the attention of potential investors.
I know that this is your hopes and dreams riding on this business plan. Since you are writing the plan, it is very easy to grab the numbers that “work” for you while conveniently leaving out the numbers that don’t.
Investors are not reckless people. Most will ask for a copy of your business plan to take to their own people. If their people find that the numbers are skewed in your favour, you better believe this deal is dead in the water.
Writing a business plan can be nerve racking, but it just the beginning. There is the process of filing for your new company, finding employees, and getting right to work. Focus on the tips above and tell yourself that writing the business plan is just the beginning of the journey!