Do I Need Help Writing My Business Plan?
The purpose of writing out a business plan is to have an accurate road map to success for whatever small business venture you are embarking on. A business plan is not something to be taken lightly. You need to be serious about your business because it will be the road map that gets you from point A to B. If you don’t have a business plan, here are five things you should know.
Having a business plan does not necessarily mean you need to hire a financial advisor or attorney to help you write it. It is also not mandatory for you to have a lengthy outline of what you are trying to accomplish as it pertains to your future and that of your investors. A formal business plan, which is quite lengthy and detailed, is put together by professionals and is presented to prospective investors. Investors are not people who are looking to invest in your dream business; they are people who are interested in your ability to run it effectively and make it profitable. So, while you may not think an investor’s perspective is important, you may want to consider having one provided so that you can answer any questions they may have as it relates to your company’s future profitability.
While the purpose of putting together a business plan is to provide you and potential investors with a detailed plan of what your company is going to do, it should be told in as much depth as possible. In particular, you want to include a detailed plan for marketing, where your money is going to go and how you intend to use it as it relates to increasing your sales. You should also have this same plan for financing your venture, both short-term and long-term. Finally, it is necessary to explain, in detail, how your business will deal with legal issues as it relates to entering into and maintaining a partnership with a partner or other investor.
Most business plans that are prepared are simply sent off to investors without any additions or changes. This means they end up as simply proposals, which unfortunately do not get very detailed or security secured funding. If you are serious about obtaining venture capital, it is highly suggested that you make an effort to secure funding before you send your business plan to potential investors. Many banks, private investors and other forms of funding sources are willing to help you in many ways if you present them with a clear and well-written proposal that includes a clear description of your company’s strengths and weaknesses along with a comprehensive financial projection. A well-prepared and legitimate business plan can make the difference between success and failure as it relates to seeking capital.
If you want to be able to tap capital from multiple sources, including existing investors and possible new investors, having a business plan helps. In addition, having a properly prepared and documented business plan helps you position yourself and your organization to meet the unique challenges you may encounter as you strive to achieve your goals. You want to make sure you have a written plan that includes: a comprehensive overview of your products or services, an outlook for your future operations, goals and methods of reaching those goals, a description of your company’s marketing system and your brand’s reputation, and a description of how you intend to use the funds from the investment. When investors are presented with this information, it helps to give them an accurate picture of what your organization is all about and what it is going to offer them.
If you need help putting together a business plan or are looking for a business plan template, you can find them online. Many templates will provide a number of pre-formatted options and they may be all you need. However, a good resource to find an appropriate template is Small Business Center at SBC. They provide access to various forms and resources for businesses of all sizes.