What Doesn’t Matter And Should Not Be In Your Business Plan
Posted by Dennis Lowery on August 4, 2008 in Business Financing, Business Start Up Advice [ 1 Comment ]
Over my next posts, I’m going to share with you some important things that I’ve learned over 26 years of business experience from some of the most successful investors, investment and venture capital firms in the world about how they read business plans and what they look for in them.
First some basic advice: With business plans, size does not matter.
Let me say that again.
Size does not matter.
Never lard up a business plan just to make it a hefty read, thinking to “wow” people based on its bulk. That does not impress experienced business people, knowledgeable investors and funding sources.
Experienced and successful business professionals know this and focus their business plan to make it concise and succinct; one that hits all the “hot buttons” but does not say more than it should.
If you use a template to create your business plan, use it as a guide only and modify extensively to give it its own distinct identity. Strip out and replace any “boiler-plate” language that is not necessary and put in only the important things you need to convey (read on to learn what that consists of).
If you hire a business plan writer (who may write well but does not have a great deal of business experience), be sure not to just accept what they give you as being the best for you. Make sure it answers the five most important things (we’re getting to them shortly) that investors and funding sources look for … no more … no less.
What to leave out of your business plan is just as important as what to put in!
With business plans, telling them you graduated from John Smith high school, love cats and your hobbies are snorkeling and bear wrestling do not matter.
Telling about your dream to own your own business does not matter.
Telling them any thing not directly related to the business or your capability to run that business, does not matter – leave it out. Let that simple rule govern what you put into your plan.
You get the idea without me having to add more bullet points (see … less is more!).
What does matter?
I’ll get to that in my next post, because if your business plan does not have what matters most – and you’ve filled it with things that don’t – you have wasted your time and more importantly someone else’s time (and from the all important point of attracting an investor or funding source that is a death blow).
You get one shot at a first impression. Don’t blow it!
Be sure to watch for:
The 5 Most Important Things Your Business Plan Should Contain (that investors want to read about)
Until then best wishes and good fortune to you (and fortune favors the prepared),