Writing a business plan can feel like a daunting task – it requires you to answer questions you may have not dwelled upon before, and challenges you to clearly define and articulate numerous aspects of your business, including the operations, finances, goals and more.
The best way to get better at writing them is to simply draft multiple versions over and over again, learning with practice and developing your own technique. However, there are a few key pointers you can take on board right now to help ensure you’re writing good quality business plans…
Don’t skip over the sections you can’t easily answer
Every section of your business plan is going to demand careful consideration, and in many cases, proper research. As a result, there’s certainly a temptation (as those who have experienced writing business plans in the past know all too well) to skip over the harder parts. Whether it’s the financial plan, competitor analysis or your marketing strategy that’s particularly challenging you, try not to rush through it. A business plan asks you difficult questions, and it takes a lot of energy to formulate concrete answers to each section, but it’s well worth doing.
Save your executive summary for the end
Another great tip when writing your business plan is to write your executive summary right at the end. Think of it as a killer introduction to your business: it’s the bit that would grab an investor’s attention and tell them exactly what your business does, how it differs from your competitors, why it’s going to succeed, and your projected revenues and profit.
In essence, it’s the section that includes the news you don’t want anyone to miss. As a result, it’s actually easier to write this once you’ve written your business plan: by this point, you’ll be very clear on what your business is offering, which means your executive summary will be concise, attention-grabbing and to-the-point.
If you’re particularly struggling, or if you’re operating in a very ‘niche’ area that requires extensive knowledge that you simply don’t have in-house, using the services of a consulting firm can be a good ideal. For example, if you work in the pharmaceutical or biotech industry and need assistance with your business plan, Alacrita Consulting can help with competitive analysis, development strategy, pricing and other areas of business planning.
Specialist experts like this often have at least fifteen years of experience in-industry, making them a good choice when it comes to improving upon the quality of your business plans. Whatever industry you’re operating in, seeking support is often a good idea: high-quality consultants will have an overview of the market, your competition and various factors you need to be taking into account, so do consider drafting in professionals to assist you if you need it.
Critique your own work
Finally, it’s well worth taking the time to review your business plan as if you were an investor. Try to remain as objective and detached as possible, pulling your plan apart and identifying areas that need expansion, clarification or completely re-working. This will ensure that your business plan actually demands you answer the hard questions its designed to present, and you’ll also be providing yourself with a very clear direction of where your business is heading.