In a recent article, we taught you how to write a business plan, (it’s beginner friendly!) the roadmap and basically the backbone of your business. But, it doesn’t stop there, writing a business plan is crucial so we gather some more tips on how you can further refine your material.
The Do’s and Don’ts Of Writing A Business Plan
Writing a business plan is hard enough (I know!) and honestly, even though you already prepared what to do or what to write, not everything works out in the real world. To help you avoid some common mistakes we’ve gathered a few points by real entrepreneurs, check them out:
Do’s of Writing A Business Plan
- Do Follow An Outline – follow the guide on our post on how you write a business plan. It’s better to have your plan outlined just so you know what you have to do or what you need like statistics, research, SWOT analysis. An outline also keeps you on track, so be sure to follow it.
- Do Critique Your Plan – make sure to go over your business plan at least three times. Are there any parts you can improve on? Did you miss something? It’s also better to have someone check your plan and consider their suggestions.
- Do Research – I can’t stress enough how important research is. It’s better to have excess research materials than a lack of them. Know what you’re talking about, read or ask people – potential customers, entrepreneurs or anyone who can provide you insight.
- Do Appeal To Emotion – logic the way to do it, but a combination of logic with an appeal to emotions is best. Relate parts of your business plan to stories, and real life experiences. Take note of this when you’re pitching your business or products to people.
- Do Use It – don’t just file away your business plan – check it from time to time, remember it’s there for a reason. When you think there’s something wrong with your business – whether it’s operations or sales, take a look at your business plan. Are you going the right track? Don’t forget to update and revise your document as you go.
Don’ts And Things That You Have To Avoid
- Don’t Go Overboard – your business plan doesn’t have to be flashy or super technical. What’s more important is you have to easily understand it (it’s a roadmap after all) as well as your employees and potential investors. Keep it simple and straightforward.
- Don’t Overwhelm Your Readers With Text – this might be counterintuitive but, do you really think that your audience would read everything? Opt for short and add some visuals like graphs or even infographics.
- Don’t Just Use Statistics – Yes, numbers are good. However, serial entrepreneur and startup adviser, David Ronick also noted that you “don’t have to base your entire business plan on quantitative research. Be sure to show that you’ve gotten out of the library and have gathered some qualitative research by talking to potential customers.”
- Don’t Underestimate Your Presentation – you may have written a great business plan but, in the end it all comes down to presentation. You have to connect with your audience – your potential investors maybe, (or even your employees) for them to believe your product or business is worth their money or time. Presentation is everything.
- Don’t Rush – this is one of the biggest no no’s in writing a business plan. Never write a business plan for the sake of just having or just because you needed it. Allot time to research and write your material.
Investors see a lot of business plans every year (even now as you’re reading this). If you’re looking for funding, make sure that your business plan stands out. Follow our tips and get that backing.
Looking for more help to create your first business plan? Check out my book Day 1: A Practical Guide to Launching Your New Business now!