Wednesday, August 22, 2012

10 Tips to Write Great Business Plans

Writing a Business Plan is the first step to a start-up. The 10 points given below is an easy to follow approach to write a business plan.

1. Plan the story well: It should tell a story to the investor. The flow of the plan and the highlights should be brought out well to ensure that the investor finds the flow interesting.

2.The investor looks at numbers: Have you done your number crunching well. Any investor will look at income and expenditure numbers and the forecast for 5 years.

3. Pictures speak more than words: Graphical information on important statistics and numbers are important. It gives a clear picture to the investors. Derive graphs from financial numbers and embed it in the document.

4. An ideal Business Plan should be around 40 pages with the key sections as Non Disclosure agreement, Table of Contents, Foreward, Executive Summary, About the Company, The Market, Financials and SWOT Analysis

5. The components of the Financial Plan should include Key Financial Figures, Assumptions, Analysis factors, Investment Criteria and Financial Requirement.

6. The Executive Summary is a key component of the Business Plan. It should talk about the financial potential of the business, Key to success and the exit strategy that you are offering to your investors.

7. A draw-down schedule and Project Schedule are important aspects of a Business Plan. The draw down schedule brings together, tasks, costs, & time demonstrating your competence & understanding of your project. It gives a weak wise break-up cost under different heads. The Project schedule gives a clear month wise implementation of the plan

8. Hard numbers and statements like "Approximately $28.9 billion of private equity was invested in North America in the first half of 2006- This is up 37% on the same period last year ($21.1 billion) would definitely excite the investor. Do not forget to quote the source of the information.

9. Wrap your business plan well. The document should be well designed to make it presentable to the investor. This can include a nice background design and quotes at the bottom of the page to give an example.

10. Finally, submit your business plan with a well written cover letter that should essentially thank the investor for providing the opportunity to submit the plan and a brief overview of the plan.

These 10 points can guarantee you success to some measure of receiving the funding or grant you have been desperately looking at to start your venture.

The author is a partner at IntelligentQ. He is a business consultant and expert in business communications. Located in Mumbai, the company offers business plan writing services, web content, business communication and Digital Marketing services.The website is

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  1. A business plan is a formal statement of a set of business goals, the reasons they are believed attainable, and the plan for reaching those goals. Thanks for sharing!
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  2. Planing is the basic and most essential thing for starting the any kind of business. With good and proper planning only we can get the good incomes and popularity.
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  3. The most important thing starting a business is not about the plan. Rather, it's about how you implement your plan. Planning and Ideas is not enough.

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