Every single company, regardless of size, can benefit from a business plan. It is not usually an exact guide, step for step, on how to conduct business to be successful but more of an outline to follow. It needs to be adaptable and flexible with goals, finances and time frames to keep you on target. This will keep you from becoming stuck in an unsuccessful business plan or in a plan that no longer suits your business.
Here are 5 top tips to avoid when creating successful plan for your business:
Avoid Sloppiness: When an investor looks at your business plan, it needs to be professional. There are no excuses for poor grammar or bad punctuation. When words are misspelled, it shows that a lack of care went into the business plan, and thus, makes investors wary. Sometimes, a little thing like a missed period or a missed capital letter can send investors looking for another business.
Know The Industry: Your business plan should indicate that you understand the industry you are entering. For example, if you are in the affiliate marketing industry, your business plan should offer a discussion about the affiliate marketing industry. Discuss which trends are working and which are not, or where the most potential for growth is currently located. Make sure the investors see in your business plan that you understand the ins and outs of affiliate marketing.
Don't Miss The Details: Your business plan provides details and assumptions on why your business will succeed in the marketplace. This third biggest mistake occurs when many business owners fail to provide the actual details as to why they assume their business will succeed. Benchmark data is necessary for gauging the future potential based on the past performance. In the world of affiliate marketing, the data can be difficult to come by since most of the success is dependent on the individual's tactics and strategies, but an overall view should still be presented in the business plan.
Avoid Making Outrageous Claims: The fourth biggest mistake you can make with your business plan is to make outrageous claims. Avoid making statements that say your business offers a “no-risk opportunity,” or your business has “no competition.” Investors already know that to be false, so don't try to persuade them otherwise. There is risk in every business venture, and there is competition in every sector. Be realistic and discuss openly the risks and how you plan to minimize them. Discuss the competition and how you plan to beat them.
Don't Forget To Include Specifics: The fifth biggest business plan mistake is failing to make an actual business plan in the first place. Business plans need to feature specific benchmarks, goals and milestones. It should also indicate what steps are required to reach those milestones. It needs to address the current and future, long-term state of the business. If it misses any of these vital parts, then it isn't a solid business plan, and most investors will notice that.
Remember a business plan is more of a blueprint for you, investors and funders alike. It will not only keep you focused but will show off why your business is better than others when being reviewed by possible investors and funders.
Did you use a template for your business plan or come up with any type of outline?