Your business plans define your goals, operational plans and financial landscape, typically in an attempt to find capital. You may write it with lenders in mind, but experts note that a business plan, much like a resume, should be tailored to a particular audience. And it's not just banks and venture capitalists who might be reading the document.
Who, Besides Lenders, Reads Your Business Plan?
More than investors, partners have a say in how the business will be run on a day-to-day. When a potential partner reads your business plan, he or she will likely be focusing on ownership details. How will the organization be structured? Who maintains most control and how will owners, partners and managers be accountable? Also important is the financial viability of the company and an overall promise or commitment to the growth of the business.
Clients and Suppliers
Before making a long-term commitment to your business, a client may request your business plan. Do you show an ability to pay your bills? Have you outlined a clear plan for customer service?
Other companies with whom you align your company could be technology partners, distributors or even larger scale versions of yourself. When presenting your business plan to possible collaborators, keep in mind that these companies could be competitors and to hold sensitive financial material or strategic plans close until a level of trust has been built between yourself and a collaborator.
High Level Management
Before making a decision to come work for you, a potential high-ranking employee may be interested to understand the expectations, mission, vision and values of your company. Is the business viable, and is there a likelihood that you'll still be in operation in five years?
When you first write your business plan and business reality two or five years down the road may be very different. But it's effective to read and adjust your business plan as the company grows. Remind yourself periodically of your original goals and measure your progress against the goal you first set for your business.
One is Not Enough
Creating a business plan as a one-size-fits-all document is short-sighted in today's fast-paced world. Whether your audience is a bank, a venture capitalist with limited time and an array of proposals, or even an angel investor looking to back a new, promising product, your business plan should speak to the interests of the person reading the document.
Cover the following, but always consider your reader:
- Company Background: Your hook for investors, venture capitalists and angel investors. A summary of your business intentions, history, mission, vision, values.
- Market Research: Show you've done your homework and know who your customers are.
- Business Strategy: Pricing, marketing plan, distribution channels, service goals and overall niche.
- Operations: Outline your business process, the resources you'll require and facilities plans.
- Financials: A picture of your financial landscape, including capital you have, capital you need, how you intend to use the money and projected future earnings.
Every business owner should write a detailed business plan, but it's not always a requirement find capital. Looking for ways to quickly increase your businesses cash flow? Contact Bizlender today. Simple application and quick approvals, even for those with less-than-perfect credit. Find us online or call 855-404-3070.