The Dos and Don’ts of Crafting a Business Plan

Whether you own a small or large business, you should create a plan for it. A business plan is an invaluable document that can benefit your business in several ways. It will outline your business’s goals, and more importantly perhaps, it will reveal what steps you must take to achieve those goals. There’s a right way and a wrong way, however, to craft a business plan.

Do Start With a Summary

Business plans should always start with a summary. This initial section should summarize the content of your business plan. It doesn’t have to be long. Rather, a single page should suffice for the summary. The summary will serve as an introduction to the rest of your business plan.

Don’t Set Unattainable Goals

Goals, of course, are an important part o a business plan. You’ll need to include both short-term and long-term goals in your business plan, and you’ll need to explain how you intend to achieve them. When creating goals, though, make sure they are attainable. Setting unattainable goals will only backfire.

Do Perform Market Research

You’ll need to perform market research when crafting a business plan. Most business plans include a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis. With a SWOT analysis, you’ll have to describe these aspects of your business, which requires market research.

Don’t Use Outdated Financial Information

All business plans have a section with financial information as well. After all, many business owners use their respective plans to secure funding from lenders or investors. They’ll present their business plans to lenders or investors in an effort to raise capital. When creating this section for your business plan, avoid using outdated financial information. The information included in this section needs to be accurate and up to date.

Do Proofread

When you are finished creating your business plan, you should proofread it. Errors are bound to happen. Allowing errors to go unfixed, though, creates an unprofessional image for your business’s brand. Fortunately, errors in business plans are easy to fix. And once fixed, you can rest assured knowing that they won’t bring down your business’s brand.

Don’t Set and Forget

A business plan isn’t something that you should set and forget. As your business changes, you’ll need to revise your business plan to reflect these changes. Failure to update your business plan will result in outdated or incorrect information.

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