importance of business plan

Today I want to share with you not just the importance of a business plan. Many other sites and blogs have address that point. By now you know that business plans are more than documents to benefit lenders and venture capitalists. Smart entrepreneurs know that starting or growing their ventures without a business plan is like launching themselves into the ocean without a map, a compass, no destination and an uncertain amount of supplies and fuel.

Business plans, even the one-pager plan will be valuable for your business venture. It will give you an edge against your competition. With the current economic conditions, you need to have a clear vision of where you are going and how you are going to get there.

Today I want to put emphasis on how to develop a winning business plan. Many people can “prepare” a business plan, only a few can truly deliver a powerful business plan that will excite management and investors. The main reason that many business plans fail to call the attention of investors is the use of cookie-cutter models that entrepreneurs use and downloading free online versions. Trust me you are paying dearly when using your “free” business plan template. Think, how many other are using the same template? and how are you planning to differentiate from your competition?

Proper business plan preparation is the key to success. I wrote the ebook How to Develop the Successful Business Plan, which you can download free when you join our weekly newsletter. Inside the ebook you have:

1. Powerful outline for your business plan that will get your banker or investor to read it.
2. How to establish clear and concise mission and vision statements.
3. How to enhance the financial plan section to support investment request and be aligned with the rest of your business plan.
4. Tips on market and competition analysis.
5. How to develop a laser focused marketing strategy.
6. Ten tips on how to grow your business under any market condition.
7. Ten reasons why business plans don’t get funded.

Here are some tips you can use right now to improve the chances of business funding:

1.    Make sure that your business plan has the major sections expected of all business plans; executive summary, company overview, market analysis, customer analysis, competitive analysis, and solid financial projections. All of this is covered in the free ebook How to Develop the Successful Business Plan.
2.    Do not underestimate the power of the executive summary. Many times this is the make it or break it section of your business plan. If your executive summary is weak and/or boring most lenders/investors will move to the next business plan.
3.    Think of the various audiences like bankers and investors. Make sure that your business plan addresses their specific needs.

The main reason businesses fail is due to poor planning and lack of funding. The main reason business plans fail to get funded is poor delivery from idea to paper.