Writing business plans is a lengthy process sometimes, and the more complex the business, the harder it is to write one. Buying business planning software helps, but there's still a potential to make these 5 common mistakes if you don't know what they are:
1. Lengthy Business Plans
The process of writing business plans is lengthy, but the end product shouldn't be. No one has to time to read a book on your business, and you don't either. Keep in mind, a business plan is your road map that you'll refer to on an ongoing basis. Your role as a business plan writer is to give your audience, and you, snapshots of your business. Keep the pages down to a minimum, and try to keep it under 30 pages if you can.
2. Not using a Software Program
Manually writing business plans is time-consuming and unnecessary. Chart, tables, graphs, calculations and the many other features of a business planning software shortens the time and brain work you need to come up with one. The money to buy business planning software is worth it to you. The time you save could be spent on business planning preparation, web design and the other aspects of your business that you need to work on prior to launching it.
3. Grammatical and Spelling Errors
There's only one word that comes to mind when anyone sees a business plan full of grammatical and spelling errors: lazy. It's hard to convince people to take you seriously as a business owner if they see those errors. They'll be hesitant to partner with you or invest in your business, because they'll label you as sloppy too. Even if writing is not your strength, they expect you to be business savvy enough to hire a freelance proofreader to check it over first.
4. Bland Business Description
When writing business plans, the business description is one of the most important aspects that deserves the most attention. You can capture or lose interest for your business in the description. You need to approach it as if you are selling directly to someone, even if you're the only one who will ever see the plan. Show enthusiasm, and make it unique and compelling enough to make people want to read the entire business plan and learn all about your business.
5. Little Business Planning Preparation
Poor business planning preparation shows up in finished business plans. You might present your plan to an investor who knows your industry inside and out, and who can spot your lack of research instantly. You're not expected to know it all, but you are expected to demonstrate a level of competency and knowledge about the industry and your competitors. Writing business plans consists of many hours of research. If you find yourself writing a plan without doing much market research, or examining your competitors closely, then stop. Do more research first, and modify your plan before you continue.
You can save yourself a lot of pain when writing business plans, if you avoid these common mistakes.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.