Zebraheard

Helping entrepreneurs turn ideas into a business

Business Plans Three Important Elements


OK, you are convinced writing a business plan will help you be a better entrepreneur. Good. Now let’s discuss three things you must keep in mind when writing your business plan. They are:

  • 20 instead of 10.
  • Eye of the beholder.
  • So what?

Writing a good business plan takes into consideration these three elements.

20 Instead of 10

Writing a business plan that has clarity is critical.  If the reader has to re-read your plan or paragraph then you haven’t been clear in your writing. The reader should never have to re-read what you wrote. The following guidance should help in writing for clarity:

  1. Keep your sentences short.
  2. Don’t use multi-syllable words when one or two-syllable words will work.
  3. Try to avoid writing in the passive tense.
  4. Start each paragraph with the key idea in one sentence.
  5. Review your document. Eliminate unnecessary words.
  6. Give your document to at least two people to read and critique. More eyes on it the better.

Remember! Why say it in 20 words when 10 will work?

Eye of the Beholder

Yes, we know you love your idea and it may make you the next Bill Gates. But when writing your business plan remember the reader is not necessarily in love with your idea. In addition to being clear in your writing you must also be persuasive.

In some part of your business plan you will have information that you are relaying to the reader. This is good, but you are also or interpreting the information so the reader can understand why this information is pertinent to your idea.

Remember your readers are trying to understand your idea and it is your job to help them.

So what?

In reading and critiquing business plans I have found a mistake entrepreneurs often do is making statements without providing back up data. The purpose of the “So what?” test is to undo the clutter in your business plan and allow you to focus on only the metrics that will convince readers of your statement or belief.  Statements that fall into the ‘nice to know’ or the ‘I highly recommend or I am not sure why I am saying this, but it sure sounds important’ are subject to the “So what?” test.

For example, if you state; “My product will become the most sought after product in its niche.” Ask yourself, “So what?” If you can’t answer that question your remove that statement from your business plan or at least until you do the proper research that supports that statement.

Ideally if you have to ask yourself “So what” 3 times then remove your statement.  It is an opinion not supported by data.

By keeping these three elements in mind when writing your business plan your reader will be more informed and take you seriously as a prospective business owner.

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April 8, 2010 - Posted by | Entrepreneur | , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. […] tools change over time. As different and more marketing tools are identified the small business owner and new entrepreneur need to embrace these tools. […]

    Pingback by Entrepreneurs Using Effective Video Marketing « Zebraheard | April 3, 2011 | Reply

  2. […] first thing an entrepreneur encounters when considering starting a business is the business plan. A significant number of people will say the sole purpose of a business plan is to obtain funding. […]

    Pingback by Five Things To Keep In Mind When Writing Your Business Plan « Zebraheard | April 3, 2011 | Reply


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