We have all seen templates, software, programs etc. All claim to make writing a business plan easier and more fun.
Fun? Come on, let’s not push things too far…
But you can make writing a better business plan easier by getting in the right mindset and by getting the basics right. You also need to do things in an order, any other way and you will lose impact, lose track of where you are and more importantly, end up wasting your precious time.
Let’s Write A Better Business Plan
First things first. Forget about the figures, leave your cashflow, profit & loss, or anything else that involves a calculator alone.
Happier now? Thought as much, so let’s move on to stage one.
Stage One – The Hollywood Scenario
You need to perfect your elevator speech. Years ago, if you had a film script then the only way to get a producer to read it was to somehow pitch it to them. The challenge was always how to do that.
What happened was that budding film writers would hang around hotel lobbies, then when they saw the producer they would wait for them to enter the lift, at which point they would jump in afterwards and have a captive audience with the producer for as long as it took for them to get to their floor.
Hence the elevator speech. This was your chance to sum up your film in 45 seconds. This meant you had to be concise, accurate and cover the lot.
This is the first step in writing a better business plan. Elevator Speech.
Think about your business. Think about what it does. Think why it does these things, the benefits, the aims, the market etc. But, spend some serious time in creating a 45 second summary that accurately says what you do.
Please, do take your time to perfect this. It underpins everything about writing a better business plan.
Next time you are networking then use your elevator speech, see the reaction, refine and try again.
This one paragraph should be the first line in your better business plan.
Once you have it, then put it on page one. Then again when you expand on what you do. Again before the financial projections. Again on your competitors page…
You get it, use it loads of times. There is no harm in ramming home the point about what you do as people forget.
Business Plan No No’s
The biggest mistake with business plans is that too many never tell you what the business does.
Serious point, we see loads of plans that you can read and never know what the business actually does. The thing is, better business plans are like a good film. You watch the first 5 minutes and are hooked. You want to watch more, see what happens, what the story is etc.
Better Business Plans always start with the elevator speech, then move on to Stage Two. Click here for the next part.
I hope you found this post interesting, please leave your comments using the reply button above or contact Lime Consultancy via the website here.
By David Farmer