Business plans are critical to the success of any new venture include these components.
Entrepreneurs should dedicate time to create them, regardless if you’re searching for investors. Business plans serve as the framework for your company and provide benchmarks to see if you’re reaching your goals; they are key to helping you think through your business and keep you on track.
As an business owner, you should take some time to work with mentors, business partners, and colleagues on your plan. Ask them to look for holes so you can adjust accordingly. Seeking input is a great way to get an objective view, so don’t forget this step; it’s way too important.
As with most things in the business world, the size and scope of your business plan depend on your specific goals. If you’re drafting it for investors, you should make the plan more detailed. Be sure to keep in mind that potential investors might not be as familiar with your industry so you have to clearly explain your concept and where it fits in.
If you’re just developing the plan for you and/or business partners, it doesn’t have to be as detailed, but you should still outline your goals and how you want to reach them.
Likewise, if your product or service is not overly complex, your plan doesn’t have to be very lengthy.
Although the exact structure of business plans vary.
Here are my ten personal requirements for potential investments plans:
- Mission statement and/or vision statement so you articulate what you’re trying to create
- Description of your company and product or service
- Description of how your product or service is different
- Market analysis that discusses the market you’re trying to enter, competitors, where you fit, and what type of market share you believe you can secure
- Description of your management team, including the experience of key team members and previous successes
- How you plan to market the product or service
- Analysis of your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threat, which will show that you’re realistic and have considered opportunities and challenges
- Develop a cash flow statement so you understand what your needs are now and will be in the future (a cash flow statement also can help you consider how cash flow could impact growth)
Next- Invest Plan Requirements 9-10, Financial information Items and 6 Points of Executive Summary
About the author
Marjorie Weber has been educating entrepreneurs and guiding them in their search for capital for the past 16 years: combining business training programs with one-on-one mentoring. Marj is currently a financial advisor for Florida SBDC at FIU. She was Chair of SCORE Miami Dade from 2010 to 2014. She also serves as an advisor to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program and the SBA Emerging Leaders Program and provides training for Veterans seeking an entrepreneurial path upon retirement from the service. She has been facilitating workshops under the auspices of Miami Bayside Foundation for the past 3 years. She commenced her career as a real estate investment banker in New York and Miami.She uses these long term relationships to assist her clients in accessing capital. She knows both the process and the people and has assisted in providing financing for hundreds of businesses in Miami Dade.