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    4 Replies Latest reply on Oct 26, 2009 8:02 PM by UncleLeon

    What Doesn’t Matter And Should Not Be In Your Business Plan


      I'm going to share with you some important things that I've learned over 26 years of real-world business experience from some of the most successful investors, investment and venture capital firms in the world about how they read business plans and what they look for in them.


      First some basic advice: With business plans, size does not matter.


      Let me say that again.


      Size does not matter.


      Never lard up a business plan just to make it a hefty read, thinking to "wow" people based on its bulk. That does not impress experienced business people, knowledgeable investors and funding sources.


      Experienced and successful business professionals know this and focus their business plan to make it concise and succinct; one that hits all the "hot buttons" but does not say more than it should.


      If you use a template to create your business plan, use it as a guide only and modify extensively to give it its own distinct identity. Strip out and replace any "boiler-plate" language that is not necessary and put in only the important things you need to convey (read on to learn what that consists of).


      If you hire a business plan writer (who may write well but does not have a great deal of business experience), be sure not to just accept what they give you as being the best for you. Make sure it answers the five most important things (we're getting to them shortly) that investors and funding sources look for ... no more ... no less.


      What to leave out of your business plan is just as important as what to put in!

      • With business plans, telling them you graduated from John Smith high school, love cats and your hobbies are snorkeling and bear wrestling do not matter.
      • Telling about your dream to own your own business does not matter.
      • Telling them any thing not directly related to the business or your capability to run that business, does not matter - leave it out. Let that simple rule govern what you put into your plan.

      You get the idea without me having to add more bullet points (see ... sometimes less is more!).

      Dennis Lowery
      Adducent, Inc.
        • Re: What Doesn’t Matter And Should Not Be In Your Business Plan
          As a follow on to this post; please read "The 5 Most Important Things Your BusinessPlan Should Contain"

          Dennis Lowery
          Adducent, Inc.
          • Re: What Doesn’t Matter And Should Not Be In Your Business Plan
            DomainDiva Ranger
            Why would anyone put anything personal in a business plan? I have seen it on websites where the owners put all manner of things about their personal and emotional health out there for the world to see.

            Obviously you have seen this...correct?
            • Re: What Doesn’t Matter And Should Not Be In Your Business Plan
              UncleLeon Scout

              Creating a business plan seems to create fear in the hearts of men. Folks... this ain't 'Rocket Science" And it shouldn't be thought of as something that you "just need to borrow money". It should REALLY be your PLAN for SUCCESS. If you don't have this "road map" to success, how will you know if you're going the right direction?

              Exec. Summary: Who's going to run the business and what qualifications do they have to do so? Who will they call
              on to provide knowledge and experience that they don't have?

              Business summary: What kind of business? What will it sell? Who will buy it?

              Marketing Plan: How are you going to market it? What is your Unique Selling Position ? Who is your competition ?
              Why would people buy it from you, instead of them? How will they even know about you?

              Financial Plan: How much money do you need to start? Where will it come from? How will you spend it?
              Projected initial cash flow: How much sales do you think you'll have (month by month) over the first two
              years? How much expenses do you think you'll have over the first two years?
              Break Even Analysis: Considering both fixed expenses and varible expenses, how long do you think


              it will take you to reach the "Break Even" point? Where the money comf
              from to provide funds unitl you are profitable? How long after that do you


              it will be until you have at least an "acceptable" profit? What are your
              contingent plans of you don't achieve the break-even point as planned?

              The "Business Plan" is only that....a PLAN. Situations don't always develop as "planned". Circumstances change. Your goals may change. You may determine that there are better ways of readhing your goals than in your original plan. that's why it's called a PLAN. It's OK to adjust it from time to time. In fact you should make these adjustments. You definitely should review it OFTEN at the outset, and at least yearly for a "mature" business.

              The Business Plan should always be thought of as DYNAMIC...not static.