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.
All business plans should establish strategy, tactics, milestones, tasks, assumptions, and essential numbers (projected sales, direct costs, expenses, and cash flow). All business plans should develop accountability and tracking.
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.
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.
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.
Writing a business plan may seem like a big hurdle, but it doesn`t have to be. You know your business—you`re the expert on it. For that reason alone, writing a business plan and then leveraging your plan for growth won`t be nearly as challenging as you think.