Have a great business idea? Awesome.
But ideas are a dime a dozen, and unless you have a solid plan to bring your idea from concept to reality, your idea can’t progress any further.
Business plans don’t have to be difficult, and can even be as concise and short enough to fit on a few pages.
Still, there is a lot to consider when drawing up your business plan. Small Business BC has a great checklist available for download that can get you started. Combine that with the advice offered here on this blog and our website, and you’ll be well on your way to crushing your business plan in no time.
We’ve put together six killer tips for new entrepreneurs on how to write a business plan to get you noticed by prospective lenders.
Business Plan Tips
1. Before you pursue your dream, define exactly what it is. Ask yourself:
- What is my product or service? (Be as specific as possible.)
- Why am I passionate about it?
- Why is there a need for it?
- What concrete outcomes do I want to see, and on what timeline?
- Are my goals realistic?
2. Get out from behind your computer.
Talk to your potential customers. For example, conduct a survey or focus group on your product/service. Ask them what their pain points are and focus on THEIR needs more than the features of your product.
3. Address the risks.
Investors are looking for your ability to address challenges head-on, so don’t just address the strengths and positive opportunities. Tackle the risks and challenges, too.
4. Harness your people power.
Use your business plan to showcase the people behind the business, their talents and experience.
5. Treat your plan as a living document.
Revisit your business plan often, and update your projections regularly. It will help you track your performance and identify your future needs.
6. Don’t work in isolation
Find mentors and read voraciously. Your financial institution can also provide valuable advice on building a business plan and other, more tactical concerns, such as advice on the best kinds of accounts and other financial services for small businesses.
Service Canada and Small Business BC also both hold courses specific to small business owners and award grants to small businesses.