Have you made any of these common business plan mistakes?
Going back to your business plan to cross reference your projections is a good idea but what if your business plan is wrong? As the blueprint for your company the business plan is as important as any other part of your business.
Check out the list of common business plan mistakes below to make sure your plan is both accurate and actionable.
Top 5 Business Plan Mistakes
#1 The Plan is Poorly Written
You don’t need to be an English major to know that your plan is poorly written. Investors are looking for professional and clearly-written plans. Misspellings, typographical errors and basic grammatical errors should be avoided. If writing is not your strength, don’t do it on your own. It’s best to hire someone to help you review and edit your business plan.
#2 Bad Visuals
Great content always comes with well laid out visual components. You don’t need to have stellar graphic design to go with your plan. Just make sure that you avoid these things:
- Unlabeled charts
- Missing page numbers from the table of contents
- Tables without headers
#3 The Business Plan is Incomplete
If you want your plan to cover all the bases, then it should have:
- Detail on product or service features, including strengths and weaknesses.
- What competitors are doing right and what are they doing wrong.
- Overview of operations and how will it support the financial goals.
- Sales and marketing plan to give investors and employees a sense of direction, whether it’s long term or short term campaigns.
- Sales and financial goals should also be present. If you’re operating for three years, then an annual balance sheet will help show cash flow and the ability to reach projections.
#4 The Vague Business Plan
All plans need to be clear whether these are financial plans or marketing plans. Setting realistic and measurable goals will help your investors and team understand your intentions. Make sure it’s backed by research to make it more credible.
#5 Claiming There’s No Risk or No Competition
Plans are based on research and intelligent assumptions. When you set your goals, you always want to succeed. However, claiming that there is no risk involved is unrealistic. Investors see it as too good to be true. Products or services without competition will sound too “scammy” or leave the impression you are hiding a major flaw. Be honest about any obstacles or competition and how you plan to address those challenges.
Some entrepreneurs often make mistakes in planning for their business. However, the best advice every entrepreneur can get is to consult the experts. If marketing is not your strength, then look for a consultant or partner who can help you with this aspect. Or, if you find financial projections difficult, hire an accountant to do it for you or use a business plan package that has everything you need and can be modified to fit your business needs.
The most successful businessmen are usually the ones who delegate and work to avoid the common business plan mistakes that can prevent success.