Have you put off creating a business plan because you dread the task of all that dull fact gathering? Virtually all experts agree that a business plan is a must. A well thought-out and organized business plan dramatically increases your odds of succeeding as an entrepreneur. It can help you compete in the marketplace (through an analysis of what your competition lacks), and anticipate potential problems. An effective business plan tells a great story, weaving an exciting plot that captivates the writer and the reader. But you say dry facts won’t inspire anyone.
Business plans were originally written for the purpose of borrowing money from banks. But fewer than 10% of businesses in the Fortune 500 ever borrowed start-up money from a formal institution, they got it from friends and family. So if you’re not looking to use your plan to borrow from a bank, don’t worry about what the pundits think. Have fun with your business plan and let it reflect who you are and your personality, what is unique about your business. If you want to get capital from venture capitalists, they may be more likely to be interested by learning who you are and what you and your business stand for. They’ll still want the financial outlook of the business, of course, but you can make it part of a document that stands out from the rest.
You can incorporate the following aspects of a business plan while not losing sight of the passion you had for creating your business in the first place:
- Describe the business – what product or services do you provide?
- Who are your customers or clients?
- Who is your competition?
- Describe the person/s who run/s the business – what is their experience and background?
- What is your marketing plan?
- What are the financial aspects of the business – budget, revenue
And remember that it’s a living entity just like your business is; you need to review it regularly and make changes as the situation evolves.
What challenges are you facing with creating your business plan? Or what did you do to overcome them? What ideas do you have for making a business plan inspiring and fun?