Whether you’re just starting out or an established business owner, having a clear and concise business plan is essential to help you define your direction, achieve your goals and galvanise internal and external support for your business. But with around 30 per cent of small business likely to experience difficulties or failure in their first 12 months, what makes a business plan stand out and succeed?
Creating a successful business plan
Here are three of my key tips for making your business plan a success:
Make it stand out
To grab the interest of lenders and strategic partners, a business plan must stand out from the crowd. This increasingly means ensuring it makes a strong visual impact, which includes the use of interactive graphics allowing prospective stakeholders to zoom in and out of the detail.
Some of the best examples of business plans make clever use of branding to communicate what the business is about and demonstrate its uniqueness.
Back it up
As well as making a strong visual impact, business plans must contain robust research and well-evidenced financials. Lenders and investors will expect to see this level of detail and plans that leave them wanting more will probably be an opportunity missed. There is nothing more off-putting to a potential investor than a lack of hard data to back up business or market forecasts.
Don’t let enthusiasm get the better of you
Business plans must be concise. While it’s natural for business owners to be enthusiastic about their big idea, they should avoid over embellishment and stick to clear, well-evidenced statements backed up by solid and impactful facts and figures.
By defining your objectives and mapping out strategies, you’ll be able to plan ahead, stand out against the competition and manage the inevitable bumps on your business journey.