10 tips for a successful business plan

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A business plan is an essential element if you want to attract stakeholders in order to support your business idea, regardless if we are talking about investors, partners or future employees. If you want your business plan to work, make sure it is clear, well structured and it offers an insight into your business.

Not offering an insight into your business will make it that much harder to share and spread your vision and to visualize the growth potential of the business idea.

To ensure the success of your business plan you should take into account the 10 tips presented below:

1. Focus on planning your business on a long-term basis: set your goal as to where you want to be in five years and plan ahead all the steps that will take you there. This doesn’t mean that the plan you make now will be set in stone, but it will give you a map of the business future development.

2. Write your own business plan. Thus, you will learn more not only about your business, but also about the market, the customers, the competition and your own strengths and weaknesses. It is a very good exercise foe any entrepreneur because it forces you to get very focused on the business and its perspectives.

3. Make sure you cover all key-aspects of a business plan. Read HERE to see the structure of a business plan and the most important aspects that should be included in it. HERE you can find a more detailed description of the business plan and its elements.

4. Be concise. Despite the fact that, sometimes you feel like you should describe all aspects that comprise your business, a business plan must be concise and on point. No potential investor or financier has the time to read a thick portfolio, so focus only on the important and relevant aspects.

5. Be realistic. Be honest during the presentation of the business plan and present not only the opportunities, but also the inherent threats that may arise during any type of activity. This will prove that you know your business and that you are pragmatic.

6. It is recommended to insert visual elements where it is possible. In the portfolio you should try and insert some visual elements, but do not overdo it. Try and use graphics, tables, diagrams and images that help you get your business idea across in a better way.

7. Be creative. Include a creative element in your business plan, so that it will stand out and come into notice for the person reading the plan. You can use templates but, make sure that your business plan does not turn out to be just one big template.

8. Think of your plan as a living document. Read it over and over again regularly to ensure you are on the right track and to adjust it according to the changes that arise.

9. Share your plan with other people such as a mentor, investors, creditors, key-employees or counselors. This way, they can help you obtain what you want or point out things that you missed.

10. From the start, take into consideration that you will have to pay a certain price on a short-term in order to ensure a healthy development on a long-term basis.

You can always use a practical  instrument to write your business plan such as LivePlan, which is an online planning instrument or Business Plan Pro.

Good luck!

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