What to Avoid In Your Business Plan: Learn about what types of things you should avoid when developing a business plan.
What to Avoid in Your Business Plan
You’ve got all the ideas down on paper, and it’s time to actually write
out that business plan that is just sure to get lenders and investors
from all over the world to just start cutting you checks. If your idea
is that great, maybe you’ll be lucky and your business plan won’t
matter as much. But unless you’ve come up with something akin to the
wheel, you’re going to need a little help in making your idea sound
worthy to investors.
What it comes down to is that what you don’t write is nearly as
important as what you do write. Try to remember that most of the people
you will be targeting with this business plan have read hundreds, if
not thousands, of business plans. They likely think they’ve seen it
all, and it’s up to you to convince them that they haven’t. So don’t
make your plan look like all the rest.
And just how do you do that? There are a number of ways, but the
most important might be to avoid clich�s in your writing. The point of
this business plan is to give potential investors specific details and
information. Writing in clich�s is the number one way to drive a reader
crazy, because these clich�s don’t mean anything without knowledge or
action behind them.
So, don’t just say your team will employ “synergy” to get the job done.
That’s a big buzzword, and maybe you think it sounds awesome, but what
does it mean? How will your team work together cohesively to make your
business a success? Be specific. Opening your dictionary and finding a
word like “synergy” doesn’t make you a better business person, and it
certainly doesn’t make you more attractive to investors. If anything,
it makes you annoying unless you can back it up with a plan. As Mark
Twain said, “Don’t use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will
As another example, don’t tell investors that you intend to “think
outside the box” or that you are the “next big thing.” Again, these are
vague phrases that don’t have a lot of meaning unless you can prove
exactly how you will do or be those things. And avoid superlatives like
“best” or “better,” unless you can back up exactly how your business
will live up to those generic terms. You have to quantify exactly how
this will be the case, too. Don’t just say that your product will be
better than the market leader unless there is some real evidence to
back that up.
You want to stand out, don’t you? Well, as great as your idea might be,
it’s unlikely that you will get anywhere if you give the readers of
your business plan the same old thing that they’ve read a thousand
times. Hit them with something new, but don’t just pat yourself on the
back for coming up with some amazing new phrase; make sure that, at the
end of the day, your new phrase means something with regard to your
business. Potential investors aren’t looking for hilarious new entries
for a slang dictionary. They’re looking for something into which they
can confidently put some money. Back up those words with thoughtful
research and action, and you’ll go far.
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