Creating a business plan is essential for any business, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business for years. A business plan can help you to organize your thoughts and ideas, and it can also be used to pitch your business to potential investors. If you’re looking to raise money from investors, there are a few key elements that you’ll want to make sure to include in your business plan.
What is a Business Plan & Why Do you Need One?
A business plan is a document that outlines your business goals and strategies. It serves as a roadmap for your business, and it can be used to track your progress and ensure that you are on track to reach your goals. An investor business plan is also essential for obtaining funding for your growth.
Benefits of Using a Business Plan (Not Just for Investors)
There are many benefits of writing a business plan–and they’re not all related to obtaining investors’ funding–including the following:
- It helps you to organize your thoughts and track your progress.
- It can be used for internal financial planning.
- It can help you to identify areas where you need to make changes in order to improve your business’s performance.
- It gives you a clear roadmap for starting and growing your business.
- It demonstrates that you are serious about your business and have done your homework.
- It helps you to pitch your business idea to investors or lenders.
- It provides the foundations for business success.
By completing a business plan, you can ensure that your business has the best chance of success and that you have taken into account all aspects of running a business. A business plan is essential if you want to attract investors or lenders, as it shows them that you are serious about
What Are the Different Types of Business Plans?
When it comes to business plans, there are several different types that you can create. Here are a few of the most common types:
1. The traditional business plan.
This is the most common type of business plan and is used to pitch a business to potential investors. The traditional business plan includes detailed information about the business, its products and services, its market analysis, financial projections, and more.
2. The Lean Plan.
The Lean Plan is a newer type of business plan that is designed for businesses that are in the early stages of development. The Lean Plan is less formal than the traditional business plan and focuses on highlighting the business’s key assumptions and risks.
3. The One-Page Plan.
The One-Page Plan is a very simplified version of a business plan that can be used to quickly summarize a business’s goals and objectives. This type of business plan is ideal for businesses that are just starting out or don’t have a lot of financial data to include in their plan.
4. The Business Model Canvas.
The Business Model Canvas is a tool that helps businesses to visualize their business model and track its progress over time. This type of business plan is ideal for businesses that are in the early stages of development and want to test out different aspects of their business model.
When creating your business plan, it’s important to choose the type of plan that best suits your business’s needs. If you’re looking to target investors, you may want to consider having more than one type of plan, so you can tailor your message to investors, depending on their personality or internal processes.
5 Tips for Creating a Business Plan That Investors Will Love
When you’re putting together your business plan, there are certain things that you can do to make it more attractive to potential investors. Here are 5 tips for creating a business plan that investors will love:
1. Start with a strong executive summary.
This is the first thing that potential investors will read, so make sure to pack it with information about your business and its potential.
A good executive summary will include a synopsis of the entire plan, including the following:
- Start with a strong executive summary
- Introduce your business and its products or services
- Outline your business’s goals and strategies
- Describe your target market
- Detail your financial projections
- Summarize your business’s strengths and weaknesses
- Include an appendix with additional information
2. Clearly describe your business and how it operates.
Investors want to know what your business is, what it does, and how it plans to make money.
When you write your business plan, you will want to describe your business and how it works. This includes explaining what your business does and how it plans to make money.
3. Perform a market analysis.
Investors want to know if there is a market for your product or service, and they will also want to know who your competitors are.
Performing a market analysis is essential when creating your business plan. This step will help you to determine whether or not there is a market for your product or service, and it will also give you insight into who your competitors are.
Investors want to know that you are aware of the business environment and have done your research when it comes to the competition. Make sure to provide a thorough market analysis, which includes things like industry trends, competitors’ business models, customer segmentation, etc.
To perform a market analysis, you’ll need to research your industry and collect data about the size of the market, trends in the industry, and consumers’ needs and wants. You can use this data to create a marketing strategy that will help you to stand out from the competition.
4. Include detailed financial projections.
Investors need to see evidence that your business is viable and has the potential to be profitable.
This section will show investors how your business plans to make money and how it expects to be profitable.
There are a few things that you will need to include in your financial projections:
- A summary of your business’s income and expenses.
- A forecast of your business’s income and expenses for the next 3-5 years.
- A breakdown of your business’s startup costs and ongoing expenses.
- Your business’s estimated profit or loss for the next 3-5 years.
- Your assumptions about future economic conditions and how they will impact your business.
When creating your financial projections, it’s important to be realistic about your business’s chances for success. Don’t make lofty promises that you can’t back up with evidence. Investors want to see a realistic plan that has a good chance of succeeding, so make sure to do your research before you begin drafting your projections.
5. Make sure your business plan is well-written and easy to read.
Use clear and concise language, and be sure to format your document correctly.
Here are a few tips for making your business plan easy for investors to read:
- Use short paragraphs and clear headings.
- Write in a business-like tone.
- Use formatting features (such as bold text and headings) to emphasize important points.
- Use charts and graphs to illustrate financial data.
- Consider using PowerPoint as your delivery mechanism and not just a Word Doc.
- Don’t make your business plan too long as no one wants to get lost in the weeds of a long-winded plan.
Why You Should Write a Business Plan for Internal Use
When you’re writing a business plan, it’s important to remember that the document is not just for external use only. This means that you should use the business plan to organize your thoughts and track your progress, not just as a tool to obtain funding from outside investors.
One key benefit of writing a business plan is that it can be used for internal financial planning. By creating a business plan, you can track your business’s progress and ensure that you are on track to reach your financial goals. Additionally, a business plan can help you to identify areas where you may need to make changes in order to improve your business’s performance.
What to Do If Your Business Plan Is Rejected by Investors
One of the most common reasons that business plans are rejected by investors is that they don’t include all of the necessary information. If your business plan is rejected by investors, don’t give up! There are several things that you can do to improve it:
- Consider pivoting your plan to better match what certain investors might be looking for (without being too focused on a single investor or investment group).
- Make sure to include a detailed description of your business and how it operates.
- Perform a more comprehensive market analysis.
- Include financial projections that show how much money your business can make in the future.
A business plan is a living document. It’s constantly evolving and changing as your business grows and matures. What you wrote in your business plan when you first started your business may not be relevant a few months or years down the road. And if you share your business plan with outsiders, they may not understand or appreciate the changes that have taken place since it was first written.
When creating a business plan, it is important to make sure that all of the necessary information is included so that investors will be interested in funding your business. However, if your business plan is rejected by investors, don’t give up! There are several things you can do to improve it and make it more appealing to potential investors. Keep in mind that a business plan is a living document that should constantly be evolving as your business grows and changes.