It takes a plan to write a business plan, but it’s not rocket science.
Writing a business plan isn’t hard, but it is more complicated than writing a shopping list. Do one of these 31 steps each day, and in a month, you’ll have a business plan to be proud of.
- Complete market research and analyses
- Clarify key matters relating to products/services and technology
- Form the basis of the management team
- Prepare a strategic plan as framework for detailed plan
- Decide the central purpose of the plan and its target audience
- Locate professional advisers to assist with the planning
- Acquire any software tools needed to help prepare the plan
- Research and compile a list of possible recipients of the plan
- Ascertain any specific needs of likely key recipients
Writing the Plan
- Create a framework for the plan e.g. table of contents
- Identify possible appendices, attachments etc.
- Estimate page lengths for each key section
- List main issues and topics to be covered within key sections
- Assign work programs based on the framework and lists
- Draft preliminary sections (excluding summary) within the front of the plan
- Draft all key sections in the plan’s body in a logical sequence
- Compile financial projections, funding proposals and related appendices
- Check the preliminary draft for completeness and plug gaps
- Stand back and take a detached overview of the draft
- Let an outsider or adviser critique the latest draft
- Redraft, fine tune and spell check
- Write the executive summary and plan’s conclusion
- Get an independent assessment of the final draft
Reviewing the Plan
- Is the plan nicely presented – bound, page numbered etc.?
- Has the plan been spell checked in its final form?
- Is the plan’s length appropriate to its purpose ?
- Have the business’s (funding) needs been clearly stated ?
- Does the plan’s summary stimulate interest ?
- Have all key questions been anticipated ?
- What likely objections remain unresolved ?
- Will the plan provoke the desired responses?