The idea of preparing a solid business plan before embarking on a business venture sounds like a no-brainer. However, many still struggle with writing their business plans due mostly to a lack of knowledge of the plan’s essential elements. A well written, award-winning business plan will give you directions on how to run your business and provide your investors with a well-organized idea of what you want to achieve and why they should invest in that business.
In the words of Kevin J. Donaldson, Business Coach ad Author, “Going into business without a business plan is like going on a mountain trek without a map or GPS support—you’ll eventually get lost and starve!” The unfortunate thing is this is what most people do—they have a bright idea and jump into it with no intentional scripted plan of what they want to do. They make a mess of it, and the business goes down the cesspool of have been ventures. Don’t make a mess of the future of your potential business.
Pointers to Writing an Award-Winning Business Plan
Does the notion of writing a business plan terrify you? Well, there is nothing to be afraid of, to say the very least—look at it as doing something that possesses the potential of transforming your life for the better should the business take off and become a resounding success. It is better to invest the time necessary to research and put your best foot forward in developing a concrete plan that will become the rudders that will direct the ship of your venture through the unforgiving waters of the business Davy Jones Locker.
There are tons of generic business writing templates out there. Should you choose to use any one of them, that is all well and dandy. However, you still have to have the rudimentary knowledge of where you want to go with the business plan. Consider the facts that I will present in this article as a compass, a guide, a GPS to start on the right note in writing your business plan. My goal is to help you script the best business plan to give your future company a direction. Below are some of these points to note while preparing your award-winning business plan.
#1. Dedicate Your Time to Working on Your Plan
Many people consider working on a business plan as a task to complete in a day. Because of this notion, they rush over the structure and leave out the details. Writing an award-winning business plan requires time, thought, and patience. Writing a proper plan requires adequate research and brainstorming, which may take weeks, months, or even years, at times. Ensure that you improve on your idea as you work on the finite details.
#2. Be Personal with Working on Your Plan
In most cases, to save time and get a more professional result, people entrust developing their business plan in the hands of freelancers and consultants. While this could be effective in some cases, it is hardly as efficient as working on your business plan yourself. Take your business plan development as a personal assignment. No one understands your business idea as much as you, and no one knows your vision better than you do. It is better you write your plan yourself and then give it out for professional editing. This way, you retain a personal feel while presenting a professionally prepared business plan.
#3. Own Your Business Idea
One reason why business plan(s) fail even before they kick-off is that the individuals who write them do not believe so much in the idea. Do you believe in your vision? How passionate are you about your idea? It would be best if you felt your idea. How excited are you about it? You must be enthusiastic about your idea. If you have complete faith in your business idea, creating a business plan for it won’t be much of a problem. So, first things first, how much confidence do you have in that plan? Conviction begins in the mind before it transfers to the project itself.
#4. You, Will, Make Mistakes. Don’t Give Up Because of them!
You will make mistakes while preparing your business plan. That should not be the end of your business adventure. You will quote prices that are incorrect and present facts that are inconsistent with statistics. You will cite the wrong SWOT analysis and miscalculate your projected reach. When these happen, don’t throw your head down in abjection and give up on the idea. Try again. Take things slowly. It is better to make mistakes at this stage than allowing your business to take a fatal blow in the future. Making mistakes is better than faking perfection. Correct your errors, find your path and keep going. There’s beauty at the end of the process.
#5. Seek Expert Advice, Learn from the Pros
Don’t sit in your corner on your business plan and moan about your failures and shortcomings. Reach out to the people you have identified who have more experience in the field. Seek expert advice and learn from someone who knows a thing or two about writing business plans or someone who has experience writing successful business plans. Network with people in the same business as you hope to venture in, learn from their mistakes, ask them about their pitfalls, and find solutions to their flaws. Then, build.
#6. Read! Read! Read!
Reading will make you wise and knowledgeable. You have started on the right footing by reading this Oaekpost article. You definitely cannot overemphasize the importance of reading and research in preparing a business plan. To research your proposed niche, you may need to read literature from people in the same field and learn from their stories. It is vital to do your homework from a research perspective at the end of the day. Read! Read! Read!
#7. Create a Complete Package
Your business plan is likely to be read by a potential partner, clients, and sponsors. Ensure that it represents you appropriately. Check that it is well-edited and devoid of silly typographical errors. An error-ridden plan can create a wrong impression from the perspective of a potential partner. If you cannot do the work required by paying enough attention to detail to produce a coherent strategy, then you can’t expect to be taken very seriously. Also, ensure that your plan is well designed and packaged. It will create a sense of positivity and optimism around the project that could attract a potential partner to pick it up and read. Be the quality brand that you are and put your best foot forward by radiating quality.
Now You Know!
Now you know! You have a bright idea for a business, then do yourself a Herculean favor and write your business plan. Please don’t start on the wrong note by wanting to wing it. The Good Book said it very expressly in Habakkuk 2:2 that we should “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.” Write down the vision of your ideas. Go a step further and write it down as a business plan. Invest the time needed and script the plan as you map your new business adventure, ceteris paribus.
Remember that ‘Not planning is planning to fail.’ You may have a great idea, but if you don’t have a great plan to set it in motion, then it may never take off at all. Please don’t put it off another minute. Remember that a stitch in time may save nine. Let this article be your catalyst to write your award-winning business plan. The points that I have outlined in this article are in no way exhaustive, to say the very least. However, it is a great starting point, nonetheless. Trust and enjoy the process of writing your award-winning business plan.