The Business Planning Institute, LLC

Writing your own plan?

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Writing your own plan?

One of the advantages of writing your own business plan is that the process forces you to think through a variety of very important issues that you'll need to address to assure that your new business venture has the best possible chance of success. The BPI Business Plan Template is an excellent starting point and provides a detailed list of subjects that you'll need to cover in your plan. Be forewarned, however. Writing a business can be a challenge.

One of the complications in writing a good business plan is that it requires some knowledge of multiple disciplines including accounting and finance, sales and marketing, opportunity and competitive analysis, marketing and market research, demographics, operations, distribution and so on. Someone with a background in finance may have little difficulty in completing a cash flow analysis, but this same individual may not be quite as comfortable in developing detailed marketing plans, pricing strategies, key driver analysis, revenue modeling, etc.

Another hurdle that many first time plan writers face is objectivity. The natural tendency when writing your own business plan is to assume the role of an advocate where the objective is to convince a prospective investor that your business model is a “can't miss” proposition. While a certain amount of hyperbole is tolerated, it is very important that you strive for some degree of balance. An investor will want some assurance that you know and understand the risks, potential pitfalls and weaknesses in your model along with the relative strengths of your competition. Ignoring these issues in your plan raises a red flag and implies that you either don't know or understand these potential hurdles or you're choosing to ignore them. Neither is good.

A more fundamental issue that inexperienced plan writers often face is not knowing or understanding their target audience. An effective business plan is one that anticipates the questions that the reader (loan officer, investor, board member) will ask. Not knowing what those questions are is a decided disadvantage. Revenue and margin projections, for example, are two of the more common areas of concern. Your projected revenue forecast may seem perfectly reasonable to you, but an investor will want to how those projections were developed. Where is the logic, rationale and justification for your forecasts? What are your sources of data? What is the basis of your market size estimates? How will you take market share away from larger and established competitors? Having answers to these an many other questions is critically important and the reality is that you don't get a second chance.

BPI can help you at each stage of your business planning process, including writing your entire plan if you prefer to use an outside source rather than tackle the job yourself. We have a staff of highly trained experts who have written over 250 business plans for every type of industry and market.


The Business Planning Institute, LLC
580 Village Boulevard
West Palm Beach, Florida 33409
Suite 150
561-236-5533 (Office Phone)
561-689-5546 (Fax)
Info@bpiplans.com

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