Ask yourself this? If you read a dull, uninspired, lacking-in-detail business plan, would you choose to invest personal money? Of course not! The same thing is true for investors and commercial lenders. If the business owner does not seem excited about the business, why would anyone else?
No matter what type of investor is approached, there is limited funding. Angel investors, equity funders, banks, and all the other type of investors are interested in reading a business plan that stands out in the crowd of documents. It sells the business model and the business owner, rather than the product or service. It is meant to entice the reader, create excitement, and convince the reader that this is a business with a high probability of achieving sustainability.
There are plenty of “don’ts” that professional business plan writers know to stay away from. These are the “don’t do this” features or things to avoid that are known to turn off investors. For example, using a template is not recommended because it turns the business plan into an unexceptional presentation.
The reality is that professional investors and commercial lenders get hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of funding requests via business plans. Avoiding common mistakes is important so that the reader does not get turned off. However, that is still not good enough.
The business plan must stand out from the crowd. It needs to demonstrate that the business owner knows his or stuff by providing enough proof of in-depth knowledge of markets, competition, and what makes the business offerings so unique that the investor gets excited about the possibilities and wants to make a quick decision.
Spell Out the Details of What Makes the Business Unique
What makes this business so special that it is worthy of other people risking their money in its success? Think about the business plan in these terms, and everything changes. Inexperienced business plan writers frequently turn the document into a sales pitch. You are not trying to sell investors products or services. The new business is an opportunity that offers investors a return on their money. They want to read about what makes the business special.
Spell Out the Details that Bring Customers to Life
Prove you know your market, and not just the market delineated on a map. What is this business really offering? It is not just the products or services. For example, the pizza restaurant is not just selling pizza. The business is offering a night out to a working mother with children who does not have the energy to cook. Beyond the obvious demographic information, the business plan may explain that a growing residential area of new homes is attracting families with working parents who need a place where they can take the kids and relax.
Spell Out the Details of the Competition
You are starting a fashion accessories store and mention in the business plan that there are two other stores within a 25-mile radius that are considered competitors. That really does not give the reader much information and makes it appear as if the research was minimal. What are the names of the competitors? What do they sell? Are they well-established? Why are they considered to be in direct competition? It is important to prove in-depth research.
Business plans need the right kind of detail which is the information that brings the business to life in the minds of investors. It supports its descriptions with researched facts. It is not just any business plan like the others in the pile of business plans waiting to be read. It is a customized plan that speaks the language of success.
Illustrative business plan samples
OGSCapital’s team has assisted thousands of entrepreneurs with top-rate business plan development, consultancy and analysis. They’ve helped thousands of SME owners secure more than $1.5 billion in funding, and they can do the same for you.