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.
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.
This can be as simple as having a mentor or partner review elements of your plan, or conducting market research and speaking directly to your potential customer base.
The executive summary of your business plan introduces your company, explains what you do, and lays out what you`re looking for from your readers. Structurally, it is the first chapter of your business plan. And while it`s the first thing that people will read, I generally advise that you write it last.
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.
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.