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.
Writing a business plan is about establishing a foundation for your business. You`re not predicting the future, you`re working through the core strategy of your business that will help you grow. This initial document isn`t meant to be perfect but is designed to be reviewed and adjusted to help you identify and reach your goals.
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 last key element of an executive summary that investors will want to see is the progress that you`ve made so far and future milestones that you intend to hit. If you can show that your potential customers are already interested in—or perhaps already buying—your product or service, this is great to highlight.
The pitch is a summary of the plan, organized according to highlights for investors, ideally a way to present your business in a structured way. The business plan is the bones of the pitch, like the screenplay, setting strategy, tactics, milestones, market, and essential numbers.
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.