There is value in doing an ample amount of preparation prior to creating a business plan: you construct creative solutions to complex problems. Make sure to take the time to do the job properly. Additionally, be sure to keep detailed notes on your sources of information and on the assumptions underlying your financial data.
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.
The business plan is an essential component of normal due diligence. Never do a pitch without having a plan, because if investors like the pitch they will ask questions that you can`t answer without a real plan.
First, you want your business plan to be read. No one is going to read a 100-page or even 40-page business plan. Sure, you may need supporting documentation for specific sections but you can include those elements in your Appendix.
All business plans should be reviewed and revised at least monthly. The review should include looking for changed assumptions and analyzing plan vs actual results with management of the difference.
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.