Often the biggest decisions you`ll make for your business are amidst volatile periods of growth, decline, or even external crises. This requires you to make highly consequential decisions far more quickly than you may like. Without up-to-date planning and forecast information, these decisions may be less certain or strategic than they need to be.
But in real life, the plan related to seeking investment is a subset, a special case. Most real business plans are about managing a business and need a lot less description and research than the business plan related to seeking investment. In most cases, a lean business plan fits the business purpose best.
Moreover, business plans provide both a literal and proverbial roadmap to reach the personal and financial goals one has set out to achieve. Before writing your business plan, it`s best to spend a few days collecting information and creating financial estimates. Most of that time is spent explaining difficult questions and assumptions.
Start the opportunity chapter by describing the problem that you are solving for your customers. What is the primary pain point for them? How are they solving their problems today? Maybe the existing solutions to your customer`s problem are very expensive or cumbersome. For a business with a physical location, perhaps there aren`t any existing solutions within reasonable driving distance.
Now, you may not have every milestone or even specific steps in mind to reach your goals before starting. But that`s the beauty of working through your business plan. It will help you define metrics of success, flesh out your goals and further develop elements of your business to meet specific objectives. You just need a vision or even aspirational goals to start with to better hone in on what`s important.
Working through your business plan, and starting with a one-page pitch, can help you test the viability of your business idea long before launching. As you work through everything from your branding and mission statement, to your opportunity and execution, the best thing you can do is get feedback and test different elements of your business.