Summary of How to Write a Business Plan

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According to Antarctic explorer Roald Amundsen, “Adventure is just bad planning.” Adventure is certainly not a priority in business. To avoid it, all firms need a well-conceived, properly organized and expertly written business plan. A good business plan can help your business accomplish vital objectives, such as securing the financial backing you need to take your company to the next level or getting top dollar if you decide to sell the firm. Brian Finch, a seasoned business professional, has assembled a basic, practical – though list-heavy – book on how to write a concrete business plan to achieve maximum impact. Although he rightly remarks that “there is bound to be some repetition in your business plan, just as there is in this book,” getAbstract finds that rookie entrepreneurs will benefit from his savvy advice.

About the Author

Brian Finch is an independent consultant and business book author. He served as development director at various large companies and as finance director for a bookshop chain he co-founded.

 

Summary

Fail to Prepare and Prepare to Fail

Before putting your business plan on paper, decide “What is the plan for and who is the audience?” Your answer will shape the plan’s emphasis and content. For example, if your goal is to raise capital from investors, the plan should focus on your firm’s low-risk returns. If you want to submit a proposal for a government grant, your plan should stress how your business meets the criteria for funding. Perhaps the aim of your plan is to help you run your business. In that case, its purpose should be to “focus your ideas” and “identify objectives for the business as a whole.”

Your business plan should tell a compelling story. The beginning sets the stage, explains the business, discusses the market and provides necessary background. The middle details what makes your business special and presents your formal proposal. The end requests what you want from the reader and outlines the risks and the rewards. Each section should be self-contained. Presentation matters. Use your business plan as a tool to create a positive first impression. Make it letter-perfect, sharp looking and persuasive. Start with a title page. If the plan exceeds four...


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