By having a written business plan that you`re regularly reviewing, you can make confident decisions. You`ll have all the information necessary to know when you can hire new employees, launch a new product line or make a major purchase. At the same time, you can also plan ahead in case a decision doesn`t work out as expected, minimizing your potential risk.
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 investment decision is about the content – the team, the market, the differentiators, the scalability, traction so far, validators, growth potential – not the presentation or formatting of the plan.
There are four main chapters in a business plan—opportunity, execution, company overview, and financial plan. The opportunity chapter of your business plan is where the real meat of your plan lives—it includes information about the problem that you`re solving, your solution, who you plan to sell to, and how your product or service fits into the existing competitive landscape.
The business plan is an essential component of normal due diligence. Never do a pitch without having a plan, because if investors like the pitch they will ask questions that you can`t answer without a real plan.
Highlight the key aspects of your financial plan, ideally with a chart that shows your planned sales, expenses, and profitability. If your business model (i.e., how you make money) needs additional explanation, this is where you would do it.