Things like: Could you grow faster with more money? What are your headcount assumptions? How much are you spending on marketing expenses? What are you assuming for payments and collections lags?
The most common mistake by far is on profits. Startups that grow don`t produce profits. Investors make money on valuation increases, not profits. Real businesses rarely produce more than single-digit profits. Big profit projections are sophomoric. Take all those profits and dump them into marketing expenses and you`ll be better off.
By having a written business plan that you`re regularly reviewing, you can make confident decisions. You`ll have all the information necessary to know when you can hire new employees, launch a new product line or make a major purchase. At the same time, you can also plan ahead in case a decision doesn`t work out as expected, minimizing your potential risk.
There are four main chapters in a business plan—opportunity, execution, company overview, and financial plan. The opportunity chapter of your business plan is where the real meat of your plan lives—it includes information about the problem that you`re solving, your solution, who you plan to sell to, and how your product or service fits into the existing competitive landscape.
Likewise, your business plan should answer these questions during the short-term period, particularly one year; specifically, what your business`s goals are for the current year, and what is essential in order to make your first year a success.
Highlight the key aspects of your financial plan, ideally with a chart that shows your planned sales, expenses, and profitability. If your business model (i.e., how you make money) needs additional explanation, this is where you would do it.