A business plan is an important document that should outline what you expect to happen with your company over the next three to five years. On top of serving as a road map for your company to follow, the business plan is also useful for showing to investors, lenders and others who have a vested interest in how your company performs. A strong business plan can be the difference between securing a loan or having your application denied. These tips will help you create a professional business plan that makes it easier to get funding.
Write a Strong Executive Summary
This is the first part of your business plan that everyone will read, and it should provide a solid overview of your company. You can think of this part as the elevator pitch that captures a lender’s attention, and it should include a mission statement along with a general description of your company’s products and services. A broad description of your plans for the business’s financial growth should also be included.
Provide a Company Description
This part of the business plan is fairly easy, since you’ll be focusing on providing some essential facts such as the company name and location. You’ll also want to include information regarding the type of business you’ve set up along with each owner’s involvement in the company. You can also add a brief history of how your company came about and what it is doing now.
Explain Your Goals
The next portion of your business plan should include an objective statement. Here is where you’ll begin to describe your vision for the company on both a short and long-term basis. You can use this section to also highlight how receiving funding can make it possible for you to achieve these goals. For instance, you might write about how a loan could give your company the funds it needs to start a new product line along with the anticipated potential for generating more revenue based upon your market research.
Provide Financial Projections
Established businesses can include information to establish more credibility with investors and lenders, such as current income or profit-and loss information. Start up companies may need to do a little more market research to develop a strong process for providing numbers for anticipated growth. Providing information regarding your company’s sales and expenses along with how you project things will change after you put your plans into action helps potential funders get a better view of how they can expect our company to perform. Keep in mind that people tend to focus heavily on this part of your business plan. Accuracy is key for generating trust among the major decision-makers for your funding.
Once you’ve laid out your business plan, your next step is to make sure that every detail is perfect. Having someone check the business plan for typos and unclear language helps you to avoid potentially embarrassing mistakes. Taking your time to ensure that your business plan is polished and provides realistic information makes it more likely that you’ll dazzle a decision maker and secure that critical funding to drive your company’s growth.