article is part of both our “Business Startup Guide” and our “Business Planning Guide”—curated lists of our articles that will get you up and running in no time!
You’ve reviewed what a business plan is, and why you need one to start and grow your business. It’s time to dig into the process of actually writing a business plan.
In this step-by-step guide, I’ll take you through every stage of writing a business plan that will actually help you achieve your goals.
Whether you’re trying to raise money for your business or are developing a plan for strategic growth, a solid business plan is a key component to every successful business.
See Also: What Is a Business Plan?
First, a few rules for writing a business plan:
Keep it short.
Business plans should be short and concise.
The reasoning for that is twofold:
You want your business plan to be read (and no one is going to read a 100-page business plan).
Your business plan should be accessible, something you continue to use and refine over time. An excessively long business plan is a huge hassle to deal with, and guarantees that your plan will be relegated to a desk drawer.
Know your audience.
Your plan should be written in a language that your audience will understand.
For example, if your company is developing a complex scientific process, but your prospective investors aren’t scientists (and don’t understand all the detailed scientific terminology you want to use), you need to adapt.
Accommodate your investors, and keep explanations of your product simple and direct, using terms that everyone can understand. You can always use the appendix of your plan to provide more specific details.
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