Compiling a Bullet Proof Business Plan
Compiling a great business plan. So many business plan consultants today will promise you the earth and deliver disappointment. Just this week we were approached by a distraught entrepreneur who have experienced the frustration of working with a in experienced business school graduate trying his hand at business planning, only to deliver disappointment. So what does it take to compile a hard hitting, Bullet Proof Business Plan that will address all the questions your bank or potential investor may have?
The importance of a well written business plan can be summarised very quickly by looking at how much finance it is that you require. Money talks as they say and nothing talks better to the focus and dedication you need when composing your plan.
Be clear and concise!
The purpose of your business plan should be very clear to you. Are you writing your plan to win funding form a bank r VC? Are you looking to impress a future partner? Are you writing the plan to ensure that you have thought through all tea various areas of you business before you start? The answer to these questions are important as he purpose of the plan will decide the structure, tome and content of your business plan.
Is your business plan is a sales document?
If you are trying to convince annoyer party to take action as a result of your plan then yes, of course it’s a sales document. The key thing here is that although it is a sales document it needs to be based in truth, with well researched forecasts and realistic predictions of sales, your target market and the competition.
A commonly used tool used by people writing sales letters, is the AIDA principle. Grab the reader's Attention, create Interest, provoke Desire in the reader, the desire to act. And lastly move the reader to Action (i.e. to write the cheque!)
A business plan can be compared to a unique finger print of the business. For the informed investor or banker it is very easy to see whether a template or copy of another business plan has been used. If you want to stand out to investors, if you want t be the business who winds the cash or investment then reflect this uniqueness in your plan.
Always focus on your audience. Who will be your audience?
Once again depending on the purpose of the business plan the audience will be different and hence the tone, content and structure of the plan needs to be different.
The Bank Manager
Bank manager have one interest, they want you to pay the money back in time with the interest that you agreed on. So a business plan written for a bank manager needs to reflect stability and the ability to make regular re-payments.
Whether a Venture Capital Firm, individual or business angel investors will always be thinking WIFM. WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME? Remember these words and write your plan in such a way that the answer to this question will be positively clear to the investor. Investors are interested in high growth, high returns businesses. If you fall into this category remember that the investor has probably a target of how much money he needs to invest in companies per month. I was fascinated when speaking to a group of investors at a recent conference, when they seem to agree that there are simply just not enough businesses needing high amounts of investment. The problem is often that businesses aim to low, both with their business ideas, growth strategies and required investment.
The Government Agency and Grant providers
Your Local Enterprise agency, Business Link or other department of trade and industry falls into this category. You could be applying for a financial grant or other forms of assistance. The criteria here once again going to be very different and often very broad. These organisations are often either government created or sponsored and hence they will be interested in government related issues such as job creation, education, the possibility of foreign investment and of course tax income in the future. As with the previous two categories you need to address the issues important to your target audience.
Once you are clear on your audience, follow some of the other blogs here at UK Business Planning Blog and write a killer business plan. Alternatively contact us at http://www.ukbusinessplanning.co.uk and we will support you in the process.