Presentations and meetings with investors and bank officials are never easy. Why? It’s not easy to persuade someone to give you money just by showing them the idea that you have. But, that’s only a common misconception. Before we get started, though, you must know what a business plan is. It’s a document that describes your business, your market, product, costs, marketing strategies, and all other aspects related to your business.
Through this article, you’ll get to understand how easy it is to impress people and get the proper funding for your business, only through preparing a proper business plan. Without further ado, here’s what you should do.
We’re all tired of hearing how we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and we often try to avoid doing that. But, let us assure you that your investors will definitely judge your plan starting with the most superficial of elements. So, when preparing a business plan, make sure it looks professional. What do we mean by professional? We mean less than 20 pages, formally written, with a decent cover page that attracts readers. Now, before we go on, formal doesn’t mean boring. Think of it as a dress code, but for words. When you want to impress, go for the black-tie, not the sweatpants.
Know Your Stuff
Because they’ll be investing money into your business, they have a right to know what they’ll be paying for. They also need to know how safe their money is. In other words, to impress any potential investor, you need to display complete knowledge of your market, your target audience, and your product.
A lot of investors fear backing an underdog because most start-ups end up failing due to their inability to compete with the already-established market giants. By knowing your competition, their strengths, and their weaknesses, and by planning ahead, you’ll be guaranteed to turn a couple of heads.
Not only that, but by communicating to your investors that you understand the people you want to sell to, that you know what they need when they needed it, and how much they’re willing to pay for it, you’ll be easing a lot of doubts. See, impressing investors is simple. You need to reassure them that their money will be put to good use. The more prepared you are, and the more knowledgeable you are about the external factors that you’ll be dealing with, the more likely you are to impress.
Let’s rip this bandage off quick and clean. Your business isn’t perfect. You know that we know that, and your investors/lenders also know that. On the other hand, what they don’t know is what the strong points of your business are, and your weak points. These are two things you should cover extensively.
Self-awareness is critical when it comes to assessing business performance. So, when you’re preparing your business plan, make sure you properly introduce your business, your management system, and business structure, too. But, keep the boasting to a minimum. In addition, mention your flaws or any factors that have enough potential to end up hindering your business’s performance.
Why should you highlight your flaws? Because you need to communicate to your funders that you’re aware of what goes on in your business. Not only that, but you also need to show them that you’ve taken the time to prepare for worst-case scenarios and take the necessary precautions to keep the business running smoothly.
Keep It Clear
As we said before, you need to keep an overall professional-looking business plan. This applies to the inside of your plan as much as the cover page. People usually don’t have the liberty to read one plan over and over. It only takes one read for an entrepreneur to decide whether or not they’d want to invest. In fact, some may not even go through the whole thing.
So, what is there to do? Just make reading an easy task. While maintaining a formal language, try to keep your sentences as clear as possible, avoid any convoluted phrases, and make sure everything is grammatically correct. If you’re not a good writer, you could always rely on grammar and correction software like Grammarly. When you work with grammar tools like this, which could provide you with a multitude of editing tools, you’ll be sure to get things right. Many grammar tools could help you check and improve your writing, as well as your punctuation.
But, what difference does it make where I put my commas, you may ask? Well, punctuation marks, in general, are like pauses in the music. They tell you when to speak, when to stop, and when to wait. Using them to arrange your paragraphs will make your paragraphs sound more entertaining, as well as engaging. As opposed to the monotonous and bland writing that usually accompanies business documents.
Hit Them with Your Marketing Plan
A marketing plan should contain what you intend to do to get your name out there. How are you going to get people to talk about your company? Is it going to be through SEO? Social media campaigns? Billboards? Online Ads? Having a well-researched marketing plan is a necessity when it comes to any business.
You’d be surprised to know how many businesses fell apart just because people didn’t know about them enough. Plus, keep in mind that when going against the big names, you’re going to need some solid marketing strategies because it’s not easy to get people to change an already existing preference. Simply, funders need to know that you have the ability to generate demand and acquire customers because that is where the money comes from.
So, having covered these points, there’s only one thing left to say. A lot of business owners for some reason or the other, when pitching their ideas, lose all passion and focus only on the business-related aspects. Now, we’re not saying you should only depend on passion either, but it’s about finding the correct balance. When reading your business plan, the numbers will make investors feel financially safe, but your passion and drive will make your plan more entertaining and engaging.