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.
Like anything else in business, a business plan should be judged good or bad not in a vacuum but in its business context with its specific business objective. Most of the online discussion about business plans is focused on business plans related to seeking investment, and I`m going to make the assumption in this answer that you are asking about those.
And you don`t have to start with the full, detailed business plan that I`m going to describe here. In fact, it can be much easier to start with a simple, one-page business plan—what we call a Lean Plan—and then come back and build a slightly longer, more detailed business plan later.
Projections are important not for their actual numbers as much as for their presentation of drivers, relationships between growth and spending, key spending priorities, sales aspirations, and assumptions related to cash flow. They have to be solid and integrated, but accuracy is much more a matter of transparent assumptions than accurately predicting the future.
The more you test and review elements of your plan, the better your plan and business will be. This can save you from spending days developing a strategy that just isn`t feasible.
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.