Writing a Business Plan

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Writing a Business Plan

When writing a business plan, always keep in mind its purpose. The business plan is meant as a tool to convey to someone, usually an investor, the why and how the business will be successful.

Begin by grabbing a large pack of index cards and creating a one simple sentence that expresses what your business does. Write that sentence on an index card. Now imagine a three-year-old is beside you, asking "Why?" to each statement you make; why does your business do what it does?

Write the answer to that "Why?" question on another index card.

Continue in this fashion, asking why of each statement and writing the statements/answers on the index cards. When the answers begin to replicate themselves, it is time to begin categorizing your answers. You should have justifications for your staffing choices, the creation of the business, your marketing strategy, your financial assumptions/forecasts, your view of competitors, etc.

While business plans will vary based upon the type of business, it is the ability to answer these "why's," and to answer them well, that an investor/loan officer is looking for when requesting a business plan. Thoroughness in this aspect of the business plan is what makes or breaks a business and mean the difference between receiving financing and being left out in the cold.

   

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