In all your running around buying gifts for your family, friends, employees and business associates, what about doing something for yourself? Like finally doing (or redoing) your business plan. Not only is your business plan a required document when applying for a business loan, it also gives you a clear set of goals and a path to achieve those goals.
Why not give yourself the holiday gift of a business plan, so that in the New Year your business dreams can come true?
Here are some things to think about before you tackle the big plan and put your business on the path to new growth in coming year:
- Is it true to your goals? If you’re just starting out, do you even know what your true goals are? And if you’re revising your plan, how have your goals changed since you launched your business?
- Does it show what makes your business special and different from all the others out there, whether that's an innovative product, an untapped market or an amazing management team? Cynthia McCahon, founder of business plan software Enloop, says the single biggest hurdle that people confront when they consider launching a new business is not knowing if their business idea is truly a good idea.
- Are the numbers accurate? With the economy still in flux, you need to check and recheck your figures. If you're looking for financing in the New Year, they must be up to date. Investors want to see a clear plan on how you’re going to achieve your forecasts.
- Is your executive summary to the point? Now more than ever, busy people want things “simple,” so make sure your summary can stand alone as a selling point to potential partners, investors or lenders. If you don’t grab them right away, your plan will end up on the bottom of their pile (or in the trash).
Make an appointment with a SCORE counselor to go over your business plan and get expert advice on what needs finessing. You might be dreading writing a business plan or taking your old one out of the dusty drawer, but doing so will help you feel recharged and energized to move forward.