You may be in a hurry to put together your business plan. But don’t confuse the frenetic blur of activity with thoughtful preparation. There are some major issues to discuss in your plan, and you’ve got to think them through.
Winning business plans map out the major Ws of your proposed business – who, what, when, why and where – to help you figure out that all important H – how.
Who are the major players? Who are the owners, personnel, advisors, customers, competition, even the target audience for the plan itself?
What do you want to achieve? What is your sustainable advantage? What do you offer? What do you produce?
When do you want to meet particular goals? When did (will) the business start?
Why would customers want your product or service? Why are you in business?
Where is the business located? Where is the target audience? Where are the new opportunities located? And finally, how do you get from where you are now to where you want to be?
Answer all of these questions, and you will see your plan taking shape.
A good business plan can help you determine what you need to make your business a success – from personnel to financing, location to advertising. But to truly make your company succeed, you must pay attention to what you find during plan preparation. Be thoughtful. Don’t do the plan, figure out you need $300,000 and then try to wing it on $150,000. Be realistic in your planning. Then be just as realistic in following the plan.
The hardest part of crafting a good business plan (or even a bad one, for that matter) is overcoming inertia. Most people have a great idea and fail to take action because of fear of failure. Inertia is what keeps a body at rest (along with a comfy couch, a good TV night, high-speed internet, whatever). Kick inertia in its thermodynamic behind, get off your couch and get started. Now.
Just as you must overcome inertia to construct a business plan, you might also have to overcome fear. A business plan sounds complicated. But it shouldn’t be. A complicated business plan is often worse than no business plan at all. Your plan should be understandable in its language (overly technical terms are not welcome). It should summarize where appropriate (leave the details for the appendices). It should truly describe your business (leave the boilerplates for metal shop). It needs to be short and to the point. Keep it simple, but make it complete. Treat your plan as if it is the only information a potential investor, lender or manager will have before making a decision enabling the success of your business.
Learn more about writing successful business plans from Garrett Sutton’s Book:
To win in business requires a winning business plan. To write a winning business plan requires reading Garrett Sutton’s dynamic book on the topic. Writing Winning Business Plans provides the insights and the direction on how to do it well and do it right.
Rich Dad/Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki says, “The first step in business is a great business plan. It must be a page turner that hooks and holds a potential investor. Garrett Sutton’s Writing Winning Business Plans is THE book for key strategies on preparing winning plans for both business and real estate ventures.”
Crisply written and featuring real life illustrative stories, Writing Winning Business Plans discusses all the key elements for a successful plan. Topics include clarifying your business vision, understanding your financials and analyzing your competition. Also covered are how to wisely use your business plan as a tool, and how to attract funding for your new or existing businesses.
As business plan competitions become more popular around the world Writing Winning Business Plans also discusses how to enter and how to win these ever more lucrative contests. How to quickly interest a potential investor, also known as the elevator pitch, is explained. In addition, as opportunities arise around the world, how to present your plan in various countries is explored.