As a public service, I offer these suggestions. Though hardly comprehensive, it’s a pretty solid place to start.
- Business Model: If you don’t know what your business model is, how do you expect your investor to understand it?
- Products & Services: Include exact products and services you’ll be offering, target markets you’re aiming at, what you’ll be charging, and what prices the market will bear. Be as specific as possible.
- Competitive Advantage: Why will customers buy from you instead of the other guy? Just being a nice person or saying something like “We’ll offer great service,” doesn’t cut it, because EVERYONE says those things. What’s different about your company?
- Marketing & Sales: How will you get the word out about who you are, what you sell, and why someone should buy from you? Don’t just have “Social media” on your list, but itemize your strategies, budgets, and timelines for using various marketing tools (traditional as well as digital).
- Scalability: Do you have potential to grow REALLY big? If so, how will you do it? If you want someone to invest in your business, they’d better see a reward for putting up the money.
- Research: A business plan without proper research about the marketplace, customer profile, and competitors is useless, but great research will make the plan both exciting and viable.
- Strategy: Everybody has great ideas, but the ones that get implemented have strategies that make sense, bring in the right people, and operate within budget and on timetables that make sense.
- Realistic Financials: This is the most important section of your business plan. The financials must be realistic with a rationale. Before anyone will invest in your business, they’ll be double-checking your math and your assumptions. COUNT ON IT!
Finally, don’t prepare your business plan to impress investors. Build it to reflect your idea and use your research to rationalize the validity of the idea. Never base your conclusions on hunches and beliefs, but prepare the overall plan to build a business case that’s enticing.
All of which is a fancy way of saying that a bad business plan can ruin an excellent idea.
With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing
Get more straight talk at www.marketbuilding.com.