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.
Writing a business plan is about establishing a foundation for your business. You`re not predicting the future, you`re working through the core strategy of your business that will help you grow. This initial document isn`t meant to be perfect but is designed to be reviewed and adjusted to help you identify and reach your goals.
This means having the right financial statements, forecasts, and a digestible explanation of your business model available for potential investors. Writing your business plan helps you put all of those pieces together and create connections between them to tell a cohesive story about your business.
The pitch is a summary of the plan, organized according to highlights for investors, ideally a way to present your business in a structured way. The business plan is the bones of the pitch, like the screenplay, setting strategy, tactics, milestones, market, and essential numbers.
There are tons of good outlines available, plus books, blogs. Down below I have some specific resources related to my work; but not now. There is no single best outline to use, but investors will want to know about the market, potential growth, competition, differentiation (or secret sauce) strategy, tactics, key milestones, important assumptions, the management team, and financial projections including use of funds, projected sales, income, balance, and cash flow. Use your common sense to put first things first and organize it all well.
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.