10 Pitfalls to Avoid when Writing a Business Plan

Posted: May 9, 2011 in Growing your Business
Tags: , ,

As you draft a business plan, it is easy to commit mistakes or leave out crucial elements. Here are some of the most popular business planning pitfalls and ways to avoid them.

  • Create your vision. It can be tempting to simply plunge right into the business- evaluate products, study market segments, and size up the competition. Before you even get tied up with the details, make sure you have already outlined a vision and developed a set of values for your company. Develop a company mission statement that will define your short term goals and business priorities.
  • A budget is not the same as a plan. You cannot make a solid business plan without a budget and financial forecast. If you don’t have a vivid picture of the industry, your customers, competitors and market conditions before developing a business plan, then your numbers will not likely reflect reality. 
  • Never ignore your customers. Take the time to listen and learn more about your customers and build a plan that will revolve around their needs.
  • Do not shortchange the competition. If you fail to take your competition seriously, then you are in trouble. Competitors are great sources of information on what works and what doesn’t.
  • Prepare to take the risks. Making a business plan isn’t all about avoiding risk but rather, understanding and managing them. A good plan anticipates challenges and includes scenarios for solving those challenges.
  • Get a second and third opinion. Even the most experienced entrepreneur can benefit from the experience of others. Find a colleague who can objectively look at your plan and determine possible weak points that you may have missed.
  • Expect the unexpected. Every plan needs some extra room to accommodate unexpected changes. Part of this involves creating flexible marketing plans and the possibility of abandoning past business practices.
  • Always remember the things that make your business unique. A textile-manufacturing business plan can help you get started but it won’t make you succeed. Learn from the competition’s strength and improve their weaknesses in your business plan.
  • What is the point? Building a business usually involves struggles and hard work. It should also include a set of rewards for you and your employees. When setting goals, don’t forget to include concrete motivation that goes beyond the satisfaction of a ‘job well executed’!
  • Do not skip the plan! A good business plan is still the best way to transform your vision into a realistic and coherent business.

If you are having a hard time drafting a plan, you can always seek the help of professional business plan writing services. Professional writing services can help you correct grammatical errors and as well as organize your business plan ideas.

  1. […] A business plan is a great way to help the business owner focus on his goals, mission and vision. It is also a tool to help an entrepreneur convey the benefits of the company and obtain small business funding. Business plans serve as a guide for businesses. They outline all important information about the business like target market, services/ products, expected costs, projected profits and so much more. Business plans are commonly used in lieu of grant proposals. It is also an effective tool in helping businesses get a grant. You can always have a professional do this for you or do it on your own. Read more about grant writing tips. […]

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