Creating a business plan can be a daunting task to say the very least. Even the best writers have a hard time when it comes to working on a business plan that will become the lifeline of what is often a lifetime dream. The business plan may very well be the most important document you ever work on, so it is important to include the right information, but there are some tips that can help alleviate the stress.
Choose a Format that Fits Your Neets
Business plans come in all shapes and sizes. When you get started, make sure you choose a format that fits your business. Do not waste time on something just because you find an online template that says you need it. Many of these templates are not a bad starting point, but templates are never one size fits all. Talk to other business owners and find what worked best for them.
Before you begin on your business plan, it’s important to define your audience. Keep your reader in mind as you determine which format is best for you. For example, if you are looking for investors, you want to make sure to spend time on the material that is pertinent to them, and not on extraneous information that won’t be helpful during the funding process.
One Step at a Time
Even the most ambitious of entrepreneurs should not try to rush a business plan. Excitement can lead you to want to do this quickly, but it is important to break down the information you want to include and make sure you have all of the relevant details you need. SBA.gov has some very simple guidelines that might get you started. Take a look at what they say should be included and see if it all applies to your business, and then take it one step at a time.
SBA.gov says the following should be included in a business plan:
Organization & Management
Ask for Help
As you move through the business plan, taking one section at a time, it will quickly become clear that there are some areas that are simpler to provide than others. When you get to this point, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Look to other business owners, colleagues or mentors who might be able to point you in the right direction. And don’t rule out hiring an expert to help you in the areas you are unsure about. It is important to surround yourself with the right partners during this very important process.
Your business plan will ultimately be the document that will be the foundation of your business. It is a living document that might change as your funding requests change, so flexibility and adaptability are also important. Do not be intimidated by the information that is required during the creation process. This is just the beginning of your entrepreneurship adventure and having a roadmap that guides you along this path will be important to the overall success of your new business.
At Scandia, we are truly partners who can help guide you as you are building or scaling your business. We believe that we are at our best when we are serving as mentors who have been down the path you are walking. If you’re interested in learning how Scandia can help you and your growing business, give us a call.