Nobody’s Perfect, But You Have To Be Darn Close
In a document as long as a Business Plan, with the stress of time constraints and the number of revisions that are typically made, it is understandable that there may be a few errors in grammar, or some clumsily worded sections, or even a few math mistakes in the spreadsheets.
But there is a distinction between clumsy wording and not making the slightest bit of sense. There are grammar errors, and there is sounding ignorant. Math errors should only involve rounding, not flubs to the power of 3.
One time I was going to lunch to with a venture capitalist (note to reader: always make them buy) and when I met him at his office he was just finishing reading a plan and had a strange look on his face. “What’s the matter,” I inquired. “Yuck, this Plan has cooties!” was his reply.
Proofreading is a boring, nitty-gritty task, but it should never be overlooked.
Stand By Your Business Plan
Before you meet and discuss your Plan with potential financial partners, it is a good idea to prepare for the questions they may ask. You need to inspire confidence right from the initial meeting. Know the plan by heart. Know how it is organized so you can quickly find statistics you wish to quote. Know the formulas used to generate the projections. Invite some advisors or associates over to have a role playing session where they portray the venture capitalist and ask you questions about the business. Be prepared to defend the assumptions you make in the plan; venture capitalists see so many companies and review so many plans each year–about 1,100 per year for the average VC firm–that they are highly skilled in poking holes in flimsy logic. You will likely be surprised at the depth of questions they are able to ask. Be ready for them!
Special Bonus Tip for Your Business Plan
Don’t just say what you’re going to do, explain how. The detailed, concrete steps involved in executing your business strategy are really the heart of planning itself, and will differentiate your plan from all the others the investors get in the mail that sound like wishful thinking.
How to write a business plan can be a daunting task, these tips on how to write a business plan should help.