3 Tips for a Great Business Plan
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.
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.