Your Business Plan is Your Passport to Profit

It is a fact of life – or at least of business – that most new businesses will need some form of outside funding before they can start to operate. In the circumstances which we face at the moment, it would be fair to say that securing funding is not an easy thing to do. With bank lending at a premium and more prospective borrowers than there are loans to fund them, it is hardly a surprise that there is some stagnation in terms of new businesses getting off the ground. It also means that if you wish to get a business going and are looking for funding to get it off the ground, you will need to prove that you should be trusted with the money that you want to borrow. In this case, you will need a watertight business plan.
In order to get a business plan that will convince a bank manager to forward you a significant amount of their budgeted money, you will need to work at it in a very through manner, getting clear figures on paper and justifying them with strong explanations. In explaining what you plan to do within your business, you will need to show why you will be a better and more deserving beneficiary of funding than anyone else. Your business plan could just be the most important piece of writing and accounting you ever do. It could be the difference between you getting your business into the premier league and not getting it off the ground at all. From the first letter of the title page to the final full stop of the conclusion, not a word should be wasted.
And yes, the title page is very important – it will be the first thing the person you are pitching to sees. Although it would be remiss of them not to read through the plan – particularly if as is likely you have arranged a meeting to discuss the plan with them – first impressions count for an awful lot. And as the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. So it is important to get every detail right. This means no cartoon pictures, no typographical errors and no slang. Even the font needs to be judged right. A clean, simple font such as Times New Roman or Courier is advisable. Verdana is also worthwhile, but ones to avoid include anything that looks like handwriting – you want businesslike, not ornate – and particularly Comic Sans.
Get the content right – make sure all figures are added, subtracted, multiplied and divided correctly – and make your point powerfully without using hyperbole. And when you are finished, get two friends individually to read through it in its entirety, so as to ensure it makes sense. Once this is done, present it with confidence and courtesy and you stand a great chance of getting the funding you were looking for.

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