Business plans are a widely accepted medium to explain your business idea and all the planning, market research and product development you have done so far to potential investors, juries, and other stakeholders.
If you know your strategy and your idea well, writing a business plan is not hard. However, there are some points that are often done wrong although they are easy to keep away from.
Here are five things you should avoid in you business plan.
1)Copy Pasting. Who ever is reading your business plan takes time for it and analyses it critically. The reader wants to learn about your idea and your team, and coming across sections that he has already read in the executive summary over and over again makes the work feel like a waste of time and the business plan eventually the waste of paper.
2)Being too in love with your idea. A good outlook is awesome, but you need a foundation to base it on. The simple fact that you think it will work, won’t get others to believe it too. Give research results wherever possible and make your prospects realistic, not oversized.
3)Miscalculating. Before giving the business plan to your audience, make sure you have sat down with a basic calculator and re-calculated the simple numbers to check their coherence and accuracy. Even excel formula based sheets should be looked over with a little hand-held calculator, cause one wrongly copy-pasted formula might mess up the whole sheet and you don’t want to end up with an unbelievable calculation (e.g. forecasting to accept 1,000 customer calls per day with just 1 employee, because you copied the wrong comma format).
4)Not introducing your team. Obviously, no matter what you studied, there will always be something other people know better than you do. When you start you business, you should be aware of this and either build a constant team or ask for consultation and help (for example to build a webpage, or to forecast taxes). The reader of your business plan of course wants to know who is helping you, too, so don’t forget to mention your team and/or consultants. You don’t need to worry; it rather increases than decreases your credibility that you know what your personal strengths and weaknesses are.
5)Spelling and Grammar Mistakes. Everyone makes typing mistakes here and there, or messes up a sentences grammar after editing a paragraph over and over again. And while a typo in a huge text is not the end of the world, it should be your goal to hand in a perfectly written business plan. Unfortunately, when we read and re-read our own texts we tend to read fast, jump through sentences we nearly know by hard, and overlook mistakes. So always have at least 2 total outsiders proof read your text. Ask your mom, a professor, or a friend. Anyone who has good English and has not yet worked on the business plan will do.