Today my husband and I met with our financial man to discuss what he thought about our business plan’s rough draft. When we got to his office we had some small talk first, as usual. We have a great relationship with our financial advisor, which I think is key to really trusting someone with all of your money and life savings. He was telling us about his business partner just got a hover craft and rigged it with night vision cameras to scope out his hunting property for game. I think this is pretty genius but is also kind of cheating, but I don’t hunt so I really don’t care. Then we started getting down to business. He took out his copy of our business plan and I felt sorry for the poor paper…it was covered in markings, like my English 101 papers in college, YIKES! He tore that thing up! He started by telling us that it really needs to have more “business professional” terminology. Most people write how they talk, us included, and that’s just not how you want to make a good impression on a person you will be convincing that your business will succeed. He gave us some great advice on how we can improve it and reassured us that it’s not wrong and it will never be complete, exactly. A business plan is used to set guidelines, or perimeters, to help us keep our business on a specific path. Business plans are necessary, especially when partners are involved, to help everyone stay on track. We have already seen how easy it is to deviate from the plan, but we revisited our original plan and decided it was best to stick with that. A business plan is a living-document that outlines a businesses plan to growth over periods of time. Our financial advisor said that most businesses take 6 months to finish fine-tuning their business plan and even after that it can still be adjusted or edited.
When writing a business plan there are some great resources on the web. You can find samples to meet what you want for your own plan. After writing your business plan, have someone read it for you that has no part in your business and who doesn’t really know much about the topic or industry. Tell them to ask you any questions they have after reading it, those questions are the part you will need to fix. Chances are the people who will be reading your business plan; lawyers, CPAs, banks, and investors, will have the same questions. If you can clear up all those questions before you approach those people they will be more likely to understand exactly what you plan to accomplish and be willing to assist you.
After you get a few friends to read your plan and you make the necessary changes, get someone with an English background to help you with the grammar and business-ees. A great low-cost option is to head to a nearby college or university and get an English major to work for you with this small task for a little money. What college student couldn’t use some extra cash?
- Small business tips series: Is it worth writing a business plan? (hiscoxusa.com)
- The Staples Business Plan Resource Guide (staples.com)
- After the 2001 Business Plan (jimsackman.wordpress.com)
- 5 Tips For Starting Your Business Plan (goldenstargazers.wordpress.com)
- How To Write A Business Plan (thehartford.com)