As the year begins, now is a good time to ask yourself what direction you will take your business. And just like on any long road trip, it is easier to arrive if you have specific directions or a clear map to your destination. Your road map is a business plan. Whether you are looking for external funding, or simply to get your ideas organized, a written business plan will keep you on track.

WHAT SHOULD YOUR PLAN CONTAIN?

As you write your business plan, keep your audience in mind! If you are hoping to use this plan to solicit funds be sure to include information which will prove the value of your ideas.

  • Demonstrate Market Focus. Can you clearly describe the needs of potential customers rather than simply being infatuated with an innovative idea.
  • Evidence of Customer Acceptance. Investors like to know that your new product or service is proven. Provide evidence that your product will sell or is already being used, even if only on a trial or demonstration basis.
  • Believable Forecasts. Entrepreneurs are naturally optimistic when explaining the future prospects for their businesses. Are your forecasts reasonable? If you have no sales, consider including compelling research information which supports your sales forecasts.

If you haven’t already done so, download our free business plan outline to get started.