Writing a business plan can help you take your ideas and make them more concrete. There are plenty of templates that can help you write your first business plan. Here are some tips for making your business plan even more solid as you move forward.
Know Your Audience
Your business plan is a document that helps you stay focused on your ideas, but at some point, you may want to show it to investors or bankers. You may need to edit your business plan differently for angel investors versus venture capitalists.
Back Up Your Claims
Support your goals with data and information. If you think you can be a leader in six months, then explain how and why. If you’re claiming that your management team is qualified to bring success, then back that up with their resumes.
Don’t Overestimate Your Financial Claims
Be conservative in your financial goals. It’s better to hit your goals than to overshoot. You may want to get a 50% market share, but that may be unreachable in your first year while you’re still learning and adjusting your business. A 15 to 25% market share may be conservative, but much more doable.
Be Realistic With Your Time and Resources
Every entrepreneur has big dreams, but when the rubber meets the road, you learn that it takes more time and money than you thought. Assume that things will take longer than you anticipate. Give yourself a padding of extra time to hit your goals.
Know Your Competition
A good business plan not only has a plan for the future based on your own projections, it also takes into account the competition. When you can understand what is working and what isn’t for your competition, you have a better understanding on the market.
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