Today's Top TipOnline business plan scams are alive and doing very well. There's even a new wrinkle: the "crowd funding". Trust me, no one makes money but the promoters in this scheme.
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Checking the list of things needed to write a business plan, you've come quite a ways.
You now have identified potential investors.
You have conducted extensive marketing research.
You have completed one or more outlines of information need.
You may even have completed the first draft.
That's a lot.
One item we haven't mentioned is the financial information needed. I recommend the financials put out by BizMiner. Here you will find 12,000 lines of business summarized in over 30,000 separate reports, with all pertinent ratios and percentages. This will take you a long way to completing your own financials.
Then take a look at the financial summary in Your 7-Step Business Plan. Between those two, your financials will be in good shape.
Before you begin to write a business plan, go back to Step One:
Identify Your Investor. Is it still valid? It's not unusual to
discover that you've been pursuing the wrong investor. If you have,
now is the time to know it, before you start to actually write a
So let's continue to the process of customizing your business plan.
Now is the time to add real punch to your plan. Make it your own.
When you were doing your initial drafts, what was it that got you excited? The discovery of a new patent? The people in the business? The solid research that has gone into your business?
Whatever it was that got you excited is precisely what is going to get your lender interested.
And it is precisely that notion that needs to be communicated to your lender/investor.
There is no simple answer on how to do that. Capturing an idea on paper is a real gift. For starters, this "excitement" that must show up on the very first page of your business plan.
Hiding it in an attachment won't do. Put it front and forward.
Then intertwine the other components of your business -- its people, its financials, its marketing, its past and its future.
In terms of style, think "annual report." Companies spend tens of thousands of dollars each year to create a report that, according to law, need be nothing more than a few pages of black and white numbers. Why this extravagance? Because it works.
In the same way, your business plan must "work". It needs the same vision, the same integrity of an outstanding annual report. The more money you are looking for, the more important this becomes. And if you are looking for angel investors or venture capital, it's essential.
Actually, when you do write a business plan you will likely discover that all the research and background work you have done will make the writing process immeasurably faster and smoother.
Good luck in your search. I know it sounds like a lot of time and effort, and it is. But the more effort that is put into this stage of fund-raising, the less effort that will be needed in actually contacting your lender. And, for what it's worth, the better your business plan presentation, the easier it will be for you to negotiate a better interest rate or better investment terms. The time and money spent now will come back to you many times over.
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Business Plans for a Small Business. Small businesses have unique challenges when creating business plans, whether it is for SBA financing or venture capital.
Easy Business Plans. "Zippy and easy" is the order of the day when there just isn't any time left.
Written Business Plans. Your written proposal has one goal only. And it is NOT to raise money.
How to Create a Business Plan. On line. Off line. Hard copy. Disk. It's enough to confuse anyone.
How to Write a Business Plan. Fill in the blanks. Use a template. Or hire a pro. There are a lot of choices.
Business Plan for a Small Startup. A business plan for a small startup has two strikes against it: it is small, and it is a startup. But you already know that.
Business Plans for Angel Investors. These are the most challenging of all business plans. It is not that they are so complex. Rather, they must dynamically present so much in so little space.
Business Plans for Venture Capital. Expectations aside, there are a number of very persuasive ways of presenting business concepts to venture capitalists.
Write Your Business Plan Opening Line. Sometimes you just need to get started. Here are 50+ ideas to get you going.
Business Plan Template. Every business plans needs certain components.
Free Business Plan Template. Three options for free business plan templates.
Marketing Plans. For most businesses, this is a critical component of your business plan. Make it work.
Marketing Research for Australia. Research libraries in Australia have come to the rescue of entrepreneurs around the world.
Marketing Plans Online Sources. Lots of great places to look for just the information you need. Most sources are free.
Business Proposals. A proposal has a different slant than a business plan. As one might suspect, it is an invitation to work together.
How to Write a Business Proposal. Key elements of a strong proposal.
Sample Small Business Plan. Take a look at one sample small business plan, or several. Each one can contribute something different to your plan, even if it was written for a different type of business.
I thought I was going to make crazy cartoons for the
rest of my life. I didn't think I'd ever get paid for it, didn't think
I drew well enough, but I knew it made me happy.
Creator of "The Simpsons"
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