Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ten Things to Consider When Reviewing Your Business Plan

Once you have completed your business plan, it's time to review your work. Remember, writing your business plan is a significant step in making your small business concept a reality. Therefore, you should review your plan carefully and ask others who you feel can provide sound advice to also critique your document.

Your business plan should include:

All key sections: Executive summary, business overview, sales and marketing, management team, competitive analysis, and financial plan.
A table of contents.
All key points explained clearly.
Concise language, eliminating any extraneous material, hype, or repetitive statements.
Substantiated facts, such as current and accurate data and verifiable claims.
A clearly defined target market and realistic goals to reach this audience.
A clear competitive analysis presented in a manner to show how you will gain a competitive edge.
Financial projections that are neither overestimated nor underestimated in a time frame suitable for launching the business. Be conservative with your estimates.
Visible contact information on a cover page and at the end of the document.
Content that has been thoroughly proofread and checked carefully for spelling and grammar.
Remember, a business plan is typically designed to attract investors and also to provide a blueprint for your business. It should illustrate the goals, objectives, strategies, and means of operations for your business. You should, therefore, present the information in a professional manner. Neatness and attention to detail indicate that you are serious about this business endeavor.

If the business plan is for your own purposes only, such as to guide you as an entrepreneur, review the plan as though you were reading it six months into the life of your business. Does it present a full quantifiable picture of the business at a given time? If you can see exactly where the business is at a designated time, you will be able to monitor your progress and make changes accordingly.