Plan Your Success in Writing

Consider many possible scenarios for each business before you actually choose the one that you want to start. Once you decide what corporate niche to assault, the next step is to create a written business plan. This should be relatively simple and as short as possible, without overlooking any key components. Pro-forma financial statements estimating the company’s future success should be based on realistic assumptions that are explained in notations and attached to your plan. Take courses in Accounting 101, Excel, and PowerPoint to get started.

In the initial drafting of your business plan, it is beneficial to identify your audience for the plan and craft your message accordingly; decide if the documentation is intended to be studied just by you, by your staff and management, by potential outside investors, or by the public at large in some cases.

If you are premature with your big idea and just need some talking points for background consultants, rather than writing a full-blown “business plan,” you could instead write a “business model” in a few short pages. If necessary, you can create multiple versions of your documentation to meet the interests of various classes of potential stakeholders.

There are standard boilerplate forms for business plans available online, which are acceptable for simple plans and small investors; however, larger investors will prefer a thorough and clearly worded original document with detailed justifications for your assumptions, something that summarizes specific research that you have done in your industry.

Investors may want to review and approve the proposed staff, the marketplace, the math, and other select planning items mentioned in your plans before they agree to invest. This is why a complete business plan is best when approaching potential investors.

Among other things, your business plan should document the expected startup costs and the costs to operate the business until it hits a “break-even” point. This will help reveal the level of financing that you require.

It is essential to truly believe in your mission. Merely acting as though you are a believer is not enough. Don’t start a business unless you can put in the required effort happily and willingly to make your dream a reality. If you lack enthusiasm and confidence, then you cannot display those attributes to your potential investors, staff, customers, or the community at large. Your competitors will intuitively sense your apathy and take advantage of any weaknesses you reveal before you get the opportunity to control your fair share of the market.

However, if you have a well-written business plan, adequate financing, boundless energy, and a willingness to make fast changes in a fluid environment, then congratulations, you have what it takes to be a business leader!

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