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.
It`s trendy to say investors don`t read business plans, but what actually happens is they only read business plans of the businesses they are interested in. They reject businesses from intro and pitch, without reading the business plan.
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.
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.
Why? Because once you know the details of your business inside and out, you will be better prepared to write your executive summary. After all, this section is a summary of everything else you`re going to write about.
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.