Seven Steps to a Winning Business Plan

While we may not be able to be ‘Winning’ all the time like Charlie Sheen, we can improve our chances of having our business plan taken seriously by following a few rules of thumb (and no, drinking ‘tiger blood’ is not one of them!)

Clarity is the first ‘must have’ for a well written business plan. Don’t be tempted to show off how smart you are by using big words and indulging in complex run-on sentences. Start at the beginning, add the middle, and finish up with the end, laying out your key points in a logical manner.

Countering possible obstacles and arguments is step two. Back away and look at your proposal with an investor’s eye. Where are the weak spots, and how can you strengthen them? Combat any possible objections with solid, logical options.

Be interesting! Too many business proposals are dull and boring. You don’t have to soup it up like a competitor on ‘Shark Tank’, but let your personality shine through in your proposal.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so implement graphics into your plan. Use graphs, pie charts and other visual aids in your PowerPoint or paper proposal to get your point across.

Don’t hype. Using overblown, exaggerated statements will weaken your business plan, not strengthen it. Don’t let yourself be tempted to oversell your idea – underselling and over delivery is still the best policy, and you can leverage this ‘exceeding expectations’ angle in your next business proposal.

Ditch the boilerplate. Investors and lenders see hundreds of these monthly, and it’s the death knell to many business plans,. Be original and specifically target the investor you are working with so your proposal comes off sounding as if it were written especially for them.

Proofread. Nothing can diminish confidence faster than a business plan full of typos and incorrect grammar. A sloppy business plan makes investors think you will be a sloppy business person.

A business plan writer is an excellent choice since you are dealing with a pro that knows language and how to write properly.