You have a new business idea, or you want to grow your existing business. Awesome! This is exciting. However, you need funding to launch your idea or expand…
The Internet tells you that you need a business plan to present to investors and banks. TRUE.
First things, first…
Business plans take time. Your business plan needs to be as detailed as possible. Investors and banks need to understand your current status and your vision for the future... but it can't be filled with 'hope to' and 'change the world' statements. Everything has to be backed by solid market research, as well as in-depth descriptions of how you plan to make your company a success. This leads me to my next point.
You are the driving force behind your business. Thus, you should be an integral part of the business plan writing process. Even if you seek help writing your business plan (from someone like me), you are an integral part of the process because you make your business unique. There will be many questions that only you can answer.
Certain questions have to be answered within every business plan. A lot of those answers will come from you.
Answers relating to…
• Your management team
• Ownership structure
• Key features of your products and services
…will have to come from you. These are the straightforward and easy questions to answer, but you hold the answers.
You will also have to answer questions about:
• The pricing model for your products and services
• Your competitive advantages within your target market
• Sales and marketing strategies
A business plan template cannot answers these types of questions for you. These questions need to be answered thoroughly and honestly. Really try to focus on you and your business. What makes your business unique? The whole point of an investor-ready business plan is to convince an investor or bank that you are worth the risk… ‘risk’ meaning 'giving you their money'.
Download my FREE Business Plan Questions for a full list of questions you need to answer when writing your business plan.
Angel investors and Venture Capital firms are hard to get a meeting with. AND, you only get one shot!
Once you have answered all the necessary business plan questions, and written a detailed business plan, take your business plan to a local bank or your local SBA office. Get feedback from them. Pay close attention to what the banks and the SBA are looking for. Make revisions to your business plan based directly on their feedback.
If you have the time, help writing a business plan can come from many sources.
Not everyone is a writer. You also have many other things occupying your time while you are developing and growing your business. You can hire a business plan writer to compile a neatly formatted and pretty document. BUT, it takes a business plan consultant for real help writing a business plan. A consultant will help you strategize the future of your business and really plan out the right business plan direction to help you secure funding. Here is a Business Plan Consulting - Case Study that I wrote to highlight how a business plan (and an entire business direction) can change during the business plan writing process. Check it out here: Business Plan Consulting - Case Study