Whether you’re thinking about starting a business or looking for financing to expand one you’re already running, you’ll find writing a business plan beneficial, if not essential.
Many lenders won’t give you money unless they know you have a well-thought out strategy for where you’re going and how you’ll get there.
Certainly, if you’re going to try to get money from a bank, a government-backed lender, a venture capitalist, or a community development financial institution (CDFI), you will need a formal business plan.
Over the next few weeks we’re going to teach you how to write the perfect business plan-discussing why you should have one, the different types of business plans you can develop, and what goes into each section.
It’s a great way to lay out your concept or have basic information to show to potential partners or investors. A miniplan isn’t a substitute for a longer, full-length document.
If it’s for your own personal use, this might suffice.Before we get into the how-to, let’s take a deeper look into what writing a plan will do for you.The first clue comes right in the description of what a business plan is: a roadmap for your business that outlines your goals and spells out how you aim to achieve them.An investor or lender may be looking for something more.Internal Working Plan – If the primary purpose of your plan is to use it to run your business, it doesn’t have to be nearly as formal as a traditional, full-scale business plan.You’ll want it chock full of details about your finances and objectives, but you can leave out the parts that would mostly be necessary for outsiders, like resumes of key executives and photos of products or prototypes.Your final presentation can also be a bit less fancy.2) Research – The knowledge you’ll gain as you explore the industry you’re working in will be invaluable.You’ll get a much better understanding of the niche you hope to fill and where you fit into the market.A business plan will help ground you, but also figure out where you fit within the greater whole, things you may not have taken the time to consider.5) Objectivity – Talking to friends and family about your great idea can make it seem like a can’t-miss proposition.