DON’T WAIT until your business has failed to realise that you got it wrong! Getting your business plan right is a sure way to get your business right! Your business plan is not necessarily created to apply for funding, in fact I would say that funding is the smallest reason for writing a plan. A business plan is a fantastic way to capture exactly what your business is about, what is important to you and how you intend to make your business work. 80% of small businesses without a business plan will fail in their first 5 years.
Advantages of a Business Plan
- Clarifies your thinking
- Creates a clear vision, purpose and strategy
- Identifies problem areas
- Minimises legal problems
- Forces you to be realistic about finances
Top Business Plan Mistakes
- Spelling and grammar is overlooked resulting in a sloppy plan.
- The plan is too vague or incomplete.
- Inadequate research is conducted.
- The company’s purpose/objective is vague.
- Unrealistic financials
- Ignorance of competitors
Top Business Plan Tips
- Be concise – get to the point.
- Be visual – use graphs, charts and images.
- Be creative – add your own flavour.
- Be realistic – there is really no such thing as a ‘get rich quick’ plan.
- Be open – get and value feedback from people you trust.
TOP TIP: Don’t rush your business plan – it is the foundation of your success.
Writing something down is the first step toward making it happen but sadly the number one business mistake is to skip the planning phase. If business owners understood the power of their business plan they would spend more time writing it, fine-tuning it, reflecting on it and even workshopping it with other business owners.