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.
You should know what you want to get out of your business upfront. Are you wanting to turn a side hustle into a full-time business? Trying to expand your team or launch an additional location? Knowing what you`re trying to accomplish, and having questions like these in mind, can help you develop your business plan specifically to reach these goals.
If you expect to be the market leader in 2 years, you need to demonstrate why this is possible and how you`ll meet this goal. If you say your product will be viral, you have to support this statement with facts and a strong analysis explaining why people will like your product or service and how they`ll help you promote it.
Defining the problem you are solving for your customers is by far the most critical element of your business plan and crucial for your business success. If you can`t pinpoint a problem that your potential customers have, then you might not have a viable business concept.
If you say your management team is experienced and qualified to help the business succeed, you have to support that claim with resumes that demonstrate that experience. It`s easy to lose credibility – and investors – if you`re making claims you can`t fully support.
Because your executive summary is such a critical component of your business plan, you`ll want to make sure that it`s as clear and concise as possible. Cover the key highlights of your business, but don`t into too much detail. Ideally, your executive summary will be one to two pages at most, designed to be a quick read that sparks interest and makes your investors feel eager to hear more.