There is a misconception that business plans (BP) are only needed for companies that are looking to raise capital or applying for a loan.  Even if you are inheriting a family retail business that has been running for 20 years, and showing an average growth of 18% annually over the last 5 years, you are going to need a plan.  Business plans are a great tool for a company to keep itself humble in the market.  Make a plan and watch it grow, adjust and adapt to current industry and economic fluctuations.  When you have a plan you always have something to fall back on, to apply current strategies too and to keep you and your staff moving towards an end goal.  (Notes on a bar napkin doesn’t count as a BP)

 

If you are developing a BP to raise capital it can be a long strategic process.  First thing you MUST think about is…who is my target demographic, whom will I be presenting this information to?  Is your plan being developed for a bank, for an investor or an investor group, for an IPO and a head hunter?  Who is/are the decision maker(s)?  What is important to this particular person(s) when it comes to choosing to invest?  You have to put yourself in a salesperson position.  Your product is your company and BP.  Your target is the decision maker(s).

 

If you have ever had the opportunity to read a successful BP (used to raise capital) you will notice that there is some information that will repeat itself all throughout the plan…there is a strategy behind this tactic.  Research is key:

 

  • Why and how do you stand out among your industry?

  • Who is your customer and why buy?

  • Budgets and financial game plans

  • Exit strategy

  • Marketing plans

  • Team and team history

 

…and we’re just getting warmed up. 

Business Plans