A well-written business plan will help you size up opportunities, tackle strategic obstacles and differentiate yourself from the competition. How good is your guide?
Answer True (T) or False (F) to each of the following statements:
1. Includes a marketing plan that identifies the saleable benefits of my products based on solid market research.
2. Discusses my firm’s greatest vulnerabilities, worst-case scenarios, necessary safeguards and contingency plans.
3. Breaks out finances monthly rather than annually to help reveal cyclical problems that must be addressed.
4. Makes realistic revenue projections based on known facts and conservative estimates.
5. Includes one-, three- and five-year operational projections that account for workforce changes by head count, function and department.
6. Describes the competition and persuasively explains my competitive advantages, including patents, copyrights and trademarks.
7. Provides supporting documentation on all of the above in an appendix.
8. Is concise and written in plain language that’s comprehensible to all stakeholders.
9. Projects a professional appearance, suggesting my firm pays attention to detail and is run by competent managers.
10. Is in the hands of only those who need to read it, and is not in the hands of my competitors.
Take one point for each “True” response. The higher you score, the better your plan.