How to prevent poor business planning
Business planning is one of those things we all know we should do, but don’t always feel like it. This is because most people think of it as a chore rather than an opportunity. But there are some basic steps you can take to make sure you’re getting the best return out of your efforts. Here are five ways to ensure your business plan is worth writing.
1. Start early
The earlier you start thinking about your business plan, the better prepared you’ll be. You might even find that starting too late leaves you feeling rushed and stressed. So, set aside enough time to really focus on the task without being distracted by other work.
2. Write down everything
You could write a whole book on how to write a good business plan, but here are three key points to remember:
• Make it short and sweet. A business plan shouldn’t be longer than 10 pages. If you go over this length, you risk losing your audience.
• Include a summary. Summarise your business idea and explain why you think it’ll succeed.
Bad presentation and preparation
Spelling mistakes are often overlooked, especially when it comes to writing a resume. But you don’t want to miss out on getting that job because of careless errors. You might think that spelling mistakes aren’t important, but they actually are. A good presentation is just as much about how well you present yourself as it is about what you say. We asked our team of experts to give us some tips on how to avoid making common presentation blunders.
1. Don’t use acronyms.
Acronyms are great tools to help people understand complex ideas quickly. However, they shouldn’t be used in presentations unless there is no alternative. If you must use one, make sure you explain it clearly. For example, if you use the acronym “FDA” to mean Food and Drug Administration, make sure everyone knows exactly what you mean.
2. Don’t overuse PowerPoint slides.
PowerPoint is a great tool for presenting information, but it isn’t always necessary. Some people prefer reading text over visuals, while others like seeing visual aids. Regardless of preference, keep in mind that you don’t need to show every slide in your presentation. In fact, showing fewer slides is usually better. When you do include slides, try to limit them to three or four per slide.
3. Don’t assume everyone understands English.
If you speak another language, chances are you know how frustrating it can be when someone speaks slowly and doesn’t translate everything correctly. It’s even worse when you’re trying to follow along and can’t understand what they’re saying. Make sure you’ve translated key points into your native tongue. This way, you can ensure that everyone understands what you’re saying.
forgetting to whom you are making a pitch
A pitch deck is a presentation that includes information about your company, products, services, and/or yourself. If you’re trying to sell something, it’s important to make sure that your pitch deck is tailored to each individual person or company you’re targeting.
The problem is that many people think that every single person in an organization understands everything about their industry. This isn’t true. Even if someone does know everything there is to know about a particular field, they might not understand how that knowledge applies to your specific situation.
This is why it’s critical to tailor your pitch deck to your target audience. You don’t want to waste anyone’s time making a pitch that no one cares about. And you definitely don’t want to forget who you are pitching to.
Impossible goals and aspirations
If you want to achieve something big, it helps to know where you stand. If you think you’re already there, you might be disappointed when reality hits. And if you think you’ll never make it, you won’t put in the effort needed to succeed. So how do you know whether you’ve got the right idea about your future? Here are some questions to ask yourself to figure out whether you’re setting unrealistically high expectations for yourself.
1. What am I good at?
2. How much money do I really need to live comfortably?
3. Is my current job fulfilling enough?
4. Am I happy doing what I’m doing now?
5. Do I like myself?
6. What’s my biggest dream?
There’s no actual plan
A business plan is essential for startups because it helps you develop a strategy and set goals. But what happens when there’s no plan? What do you do when you don’t know where you want to go? How do you decide what direction to take? And how do you make sure you aren’t heading down a dead end street?
In reality, there are many different ways to approach developing a business plan. Some people just write one up without thinking about it too much. Others spend hours researching and planning every aspect of their business. Still others use templates to save time. Whatever method you choose, here are some tips to help you come up with a solid plan.
1. Start With An Analysis Of Current Situation & Future Prospects
Before you start writing anything else, it’s important to analyze the current state of your business. You need to understand exactly how things stand now. Are you making money? If not, why not? Do you have enough customers? Is there room for growth? What problems does your product solve? These questions are important because they give you insight into whether your idea is viable. They also provide you with information about your target market, competition, and financial needs.
Once you’ve identified the issues facing your business, it’s time to look ahead. What’s next? Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years? Twenty? This step is crucial because it gives you a sense of where you want to go. It helps you define your mission statement and figure out how you plan to achieve it.
2. Think Through All Possible Scenarios
The most successful businesses have plans for everything. Even if you don’t have a specific goal in mind, you still need to consider all possibilities. For example, let’s say you’re starting a dog walking business. You could focus on working with dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, horses, etc., but you might find that you enjoy petting rabbits more than you like cuddling puppies. In this case, you should consider a rabbit walking business.
Frequently Asked Questions
What errors do people make the most often while developing a business plan?
The following is a list of some of the most common mistakes I see people making when creating a business plan. This is based off of my experience working with hundreds of small businesses over the last few decades.
1. Not having a clear idea about why you want to start up a business in the first place. If you don’t know why you’re starting a business, how do you think you’ll make money? How much money do you really need? What does success look like? Where does your passion lie? Are there things you’ve always wanted to do? Is there something missing from your life?
2. Writing a business plan without researching the industry. You might say “I’m just gonna write down whatever pops into my head.” Well, guess what? Your competition already did that. They wrote a business plan. And now they’re winning.
3. Focusing too much on the numbers. Sure, you need to understand the financial side of running a business. But you also need to focus on the human aspect. Why are you doing this? What makes you passionate about it? What do you hope to gain from owning your own business?
4. Trying to cover everything. There’s no way to predict every single thing that could go wrong. Instead, focus on the key risks and opportunities. Make sure you define the scope of your business plan. Don’t try to include every possible scenario.
5. Thinking you can build it and they will come. This is one of the biggest reasons why startups fail. Yes, you need to put together a compelling story. But you also need a strong marketing strategy. You need to figure out how to reach potential customers. You need to find partners and investors. You need to develop systems and processes. You need to hire employees. All of those things take time and effort.
6. Being afraid to ask for help. When you’re writing a business plan, you’re putting yourself out there. People are going to read it and judge you. And they’re probably going to tell you where you went wrong. Don’t be shy about asking for feedback. Ask friends, family members, mentors, advisors, colleagues, and even strangers.
What should not be included in a business plan?
The best way to write a business plan is to keep it short. You don’t want to spend too much time writing about every detail of your idea because you’ll lose focus. Instead, use bullet points to summarize what you’re doing and why. If you include too many details, you risk losing readers’ attention. Also, be sure to stick to one subject per paragraph. This keeps your ideas organized and makes it easier for people to follow along.