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Tips for Making a Strong Business Plan

 

Tips for Making a Strong Business Plan

When people step out into the unknown, they put everything on the line to make their business venture work. You need a business plan before taking on more risks than you can bear. Here are the best tips for making a strong business plan.


Take Money Seriously

When you talk to investors or apply for a grant, they want to see a thorough and realistic plan. You can wow them with your vision and mission, but they also care about the hard numbers. Without an accurate accounting for every dollar in your budget, you cannot hope to win the hearts and minds of lenders. If you take money seriously, you will build a strong business plan founded on rational expectations for your performance and needs. Don’t sugarcoat your expenses and plan for less to sound more appealing. The last thing an investor or grantor wants is to shell out more money due to a lack of initial planning.

Know the Competition

Every business is entering a space occupied by competitors. These businesses contend for the same visibility and customers. You can expect them to watch you closely, and you should in return. Dig deep into the market and learn about industry leaders. While you may not run with the biggest and baddest companies at the onset, you can look to them for strategy and marketing ideas. A business plan with a healthy dose of ferocity and level-headed analysis will show investors that you are ready to compete with everyone out there. For instance, if you start a restaurant in your town, you should know what other restaurants and food types are around. This way, you can strategize marketing techniques that compete with theirs.

Plan Your Logistics

Where will you operate? How much space do you need? Who will you hire? What will you do at each building? Do you need storage solutions? You should answer all of these questions and more in your business plan. Without them in place, you could face several questions from prospective lenders that you can’t answer. Avoid the awkwardness and anticipate every question and problem that will arise. For example, if you are developing a food processing plant, you will need the logistics planned out in advance. How would you handle a workplace hazard? Where will you build such a large plant? Do you have distribution options available?

With these tips for making a strong business plan in your back pocket, take some time to write out your ideas. Find a template to practice with and run it by a friend or colleague in the industry who can help you refine your work. This way, you present the best version of your idea to an investor or grantor.