The Business Plan

Business plans force you to lay out in writing the roadmap and mechanism by which you believe your product can succeed. They are also the key to securing funding from any financial institution.

There's a myth that if you write a perfect business plan, the gates will open and untold riches will flow just because you put the right words down in the correct order. Unfortunately, like so much in life, nothing is guaranteed; but clearly the better your business plan, the better your chances.

Entrepreneurs often spend too much time on planning and too little time in action. In getting too bound up with planning, they lull themselves into thinking that the business plan is the be-all and end-all. They then underestimate the importance of being business-like and doing something about it.

Business plans, even for experienced formulators, take time. If you haven't written one before, allow at least a month. You will never write the perfect plan on your first attempt. Be prepared to redraft it multiple times. Use trusted friends and contacts who will give you candid feedback whenever possible. Only release your business plan when you are proud of the finished product. Don't worry about your lack of writing expertise. Business plans sound the most convincing when they are written by their proponent. Although they are primarily pitched at investors, they end up being read by a diverse set of scrutinizers with extremes of technical and commercial understanding. Even so, your plan must seem a winner to them all.

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