Why Have A Business Plan ?

I mean it sounds like a lot of work … doesn’t it ?

Progressing your business request is going to involve talking to a number of different people, in fact more than you think. If you only had to asked one person and they managed to to solve your entire request you’d be pretty lucky right ? Wrong !

You should be talking to a number of different providers, funders, professionals, experts and friends to get a good perspective. And, unless you want to have to explain your full business idea/request/need over & over, a written business plan is going to save you many repetitive conversations.

It will also save you time, a precious commodity. It will also save your reader time as, if you have written the business plan in a clear and succinct manner, the reader will also understand your request quickly and more accurately.

You wouldn’t secure a 60 minute appointment with a funder only to waste 30 minutes sat in front of them whilst they slowly read your proposal page by page … would you ?

Your well written plan should be in a format that can be posted, emailed or handed to your chosen audience. It should arrive in time for them to read before a subsequent meaningful conversation, interview or discussion. This prior knowledge and understanding will ensure this discussion is more engaging, gets straight to the matter and progresses your request within that first meeting; saving you time, convenience, travel and expense.

So, what should a Business Plan look like ?

An internet search will produce many free templates for you to complete, or a framework to work to. Many business support services will also have templates, courses or consultants to spend time with you to help you craft your business plan, often for free. This exercise will encourage you to think broader rather than deeper, to produce a comprehensive vision of your plan or request. It will ask you questions you know the answers to, but also it will highlight areas you need to research and gaps that you need to fill.

Be careful not to write War and Peace in one section, whilst leaving another section blank.

Think that the reader wants simple summary points, but with substance to each category so they can see that you have thoughtfully, considered & planned all aspects of your idea.

Once you have truly completed all sections of a business plan template or framework you will realise that you have produced a more widely comprehensive Business Plan which works for all your different recipients. Lender, Accountant, Supplier, Investor or Advisor, they will all be asking different questions, so this one size fits all comprehensive business plan also means you don’t have to have six or seven different versions, once again saving YOU time in the long-run.

I have read thousands of business plans from applicants in my career, usually over a sandwich, at home, just before I meet an applicant or to refresh my memory of a case. Its the best way for me to listen, assess, measure, consider and help the applicant. But mostly it enables my meeting with the applicant to be really valuable from the first minute to the last, because I am not asking them fundamental questions as I have already read and established the facts. This might enable me to agree the request at the first meeting & wouldn’t that be great !

So, find your free template, or business plan course & get started writing as soon as you can, its actually going to save you hours & hours in the long run !

Good luck . . . I cant wait to read it . . .