3 Tips for a Great Business Plan

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Although there are many keys to a well-written business plan, here are 3 important factors that can help improve your chances of success that you should include with your next business plan:

 

1) Be Conservative

If you imagine your business will likely generate $100,000 in its first year, show in your plan what the financials will look like if it only made $80,000. Lenders like to see this - that you can foresee a worst-case scenario and are prepared for it. For example, if you are writing a restaurant business plan start small - imagine patrons slowly start trickling in month after month. Don’t be afraid to project no sales for the first 1-3 months.

 

2) Show Clear Visuals

Most humans mostly scan first and read second. We also are drawn to clean, easy to understand charts. This is why clean, well-designed charts are so important for your business plan. Don’t over-complicate a chart where you have to think too much, rather it should remove the thinking part and give the reader a snapshot understanding of your business. For example, for a child care business plan, you can include:

  • A pie chart that breaks down the age segments for the kids you’ll be looking after.
  • A single SWOT chart that summarizes the benefits and risk of your business.
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3) Set Clear Numbers and Deadlines for Your Objectives

It’s not good enough to write “be successful” or “in a few years.” Even if you don’t know exact numbers (nobody does), make a reasonable estimate and set numbers to a concrete year or month. Back to our previous examples:

  • For your restaurant business plan estimate what percent full capacity you’ll reach by end of Years 1-3.
  • For a child care business plan clearly state how many kids you’ll have within 6 months, 12 months, 24 months. Attach a concrete revenue level to it.