The investment decision is about the content – the team, the market, the differentiators, the scalability, traction so far, validators, growth potential – not the presentation or formatting of the plan.
If you are writing a business plan to get a bank loan or because you`re asking angel investors or venture capitalists for funding, you must include the details of what you need in the executive summary.
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.
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.
The vision should include tangible goals such as profits and market share, but more importantly, it should focus on the intangible/unquantifiable long-term goals, such as your willingness to adapt, emerging business-trends, and an ever-present desire to `excel.`
The best use of business plans starts with founders using plans to establish strategy, tactics, milestones, and (especially important) essential projections of sales, spending, headcount, startup costs, capital needs; it`s for the founders to know, first, what they plan to do.