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“Writing a business plan requires you to meticulously research the market, which will help you learn more about what your customers really want, how much they’d be willing to pay, how you can attract them, and who your competitors are.” With this in mind, if you plan to raise money to start your business, whether from outside investors or friends and family, it’s important to have a well-researched and compelling business plan that inspires confidence in your ideas as well your abilities.
Writing a business plan will force you to look at your product or service objectively and understand your strengths as well as your weaknesses.
Any potential investor will want to know what they’re getting themselves into, how their money will be spent and whether or not you will be capable of pulling it off.
A business plan can have a number of different purposes, so before you begin writing and researching, you should know why you’re writing it and what you hope to accomplish with it.
“The challenge for most business plans is to clearly and specifically identify what the plan's purpose is and what it is not,” says Boyer.
“The principal purpose will dictate what section or sections are most important to your plan,” he says.
“It should be clearly spelled out in the Executive Summary at the beginning of the plan.” Regardless of your business plan’s purpose, you’ll need to research whether your idea is fiscally feasible.Hank Boyer, executive coach and CEO of Boyer Management Group, notes that most business plans are quite basic to begin with, but tend to evolve and become more detailed over time.“Creating a business plan is by nature iterative, so most start out on the simple side,” he says.“Without a clear and specific purpose or set of purposes, a business plan has little value.” For example, is the plan’s purpose to help you raise capital?Or is it to develop a strategic framework to move from points A to point B?Having a business plan will put everyone on the same page and prevent any misunderstandings early on.A well-written business plan will provide your business with the structure it needs to run smoothly by laying out what your priorities should be and the actions you’ll need to take.Determining your goals and objectives will point your business in the right direction.Goals tell you where you want to take your business and objectives show you how to get there, so in order to determine your objectives, you’ll first need to decide on your goals.So how much detail you should include in your business plan may depend on your reasons for writing it.Here are some of the initial steps to take when writing your business plan.