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June 29, 2010

Business Plan Preparation Tips

Tired of agonizing over your business plan? Sick of staring at a blank screen?

Watch this free presentation to discover how to finish your business plan in 8 hours (or less)!

Before creating a solid business plan, prepare. You will need to assess your skills, hire help where necessary, acquire a template to work with, have trusted volunteers edit your plan, and set a timetable for completion.

Determine Which Aspects of the Business Plan to Delegate

Every business plan requires research, marketing strategy, financial planning, concise writing, and even more concise revision. If you are not confident in any of these skill sets, hire help. If your start-up cannot afford this, get a loan. The alternatives are a business plan that does not sell your business to investors, or even no business plan at all. So honestly assess your skills and get help where there are gaps.

Work with a Business Plan Template

A business plan template is a document that allows you to fill in all of your research, data, and writing in a proven format. It includes all sections of a business plan: Executive Summary, Company Analysis, Industry Analysis, Customer Analysis, Competitive Analysis, Marketing Plan, Operations Plan, Management team, Financial Plan, and Appendix. A professionally developed template is a minimal investment that can yield a big payoff. The template available at, a business consulting firm that has helped entrepreneurs raise $1 trillion in capital, is one such tool.

Let Others Read Your Business Plan and Offer Edits

There is minimal chance that someone will steal your idea. Share your business plan with friends and family, associates and mentors. Ask them to give you honest feedback. It helps to use the Track Changes feature in a word processor document and hand the same, evolving document over to multiple helpers for edits. Then you can accept or reject changes a la carte. If you do not share your plan with others, you will be creating your business plan in a vacuum. Get help even if you know what you are doing; business plan burnout can make experienced entrepreneurs miss even the most glaring of errors.

Create a Schedule of Milestones Towards Completion

Set goals. Break the business plan preparation process into manageable chunks. You can complete a business plan within 40 hours if you stay on-task. Schedule a brainstorming session with your management team, and use it to fill out the outline of your business plan. Then schedule four-hour blocks in which to finish writing the sections of your business plan. Each section can be completed in four hours. Tip: the Industry Analysis and Customer Analysis sections can be completed in one four-hour block.

Want to finish your business plan faster?

Watch this free presentation to discover how to finish your business plan in 8 hours (or less)!


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