But in real life, the plan related to seeking investment is a subset, a special case. Most real business plans are about managing a business and need a lot less description and research than the business plan related to seeking investment. In most cases, a lean business plan fits the business purpose best.
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.
With all of this in mind, the question shouldn`t be if you write your plan, but how you draft an effective business plan that will take your company where you want it to go. The ten tips in the chapters below offer guidance and direction in answering such a question.
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.
Investors, lenders, and others know that a market without competitors is typically a tiny and uninteresting market. And, of course, a healthy, growing market will always attract competition. So, unless you`re creating a new industry or a new market segment, you will have competitors. And, you`ll need to figure out how to beat them or at least to compete with them.
Later, as the investment process proceeds (if it does), the latest regularly-revised plan will serve as a companion piece to the pitch and a key document for due diligence.