In Part 2 of our Best Business Plan Series we go into the core elements of the Business Plan that are impactful. If you missed Part I, please click here to find out more about how to create a business plan that will wow investors.
So what makes a good business plan?
You need a great idea. Solid financial projections. Good market research. But there are a few other critical components requiring your attention when writing your full business plan to present to potential project financing partners.
A Solid Mission and Vision
The statement of your company’s mission and vision is what will guide everything you do and every decision you make, so spend time making sure it truly represents what you are trying to do.
Your Unique Selling Proposition
What makes your idea special? How are you different from your competition? Why will customers choose you? A good business plan — one that attracts investment — answers these questions with credible and fact-based projections, not just marketing fluff or hyperbole. Your investors know that you think your idea is great. Use your research to prove why the market will agree.
Your marketing plan will be of critical importance to potential project funders. This is where you prove that you’ve got what it takes to not only come up with a great idea, but also to make it succeed. Take into account competition, think about ways to generate buzz that can lead to sales, and show that you know what marketing methods will resonate with your target customers.
This is another area where you can prove that you have what it takes to build a successful business to potential backers. By setting clear milestones and contingency plans, you show that you’ve really thought about what it takes to be successful in your field and created a practical plan to achieve it.
Cash Flow Projections
A solid financial plan with realistic profit projections is important, but cash flow is even more critical to a successful business. Show that you know how to manage cash — and that you understand how critical it is to a new and growing business — by showing your plans to maintain adequate cash for planned and unplanned expenses, payroll, loan repayments, and investing back into the business as needed.