A business plan is a document that outlines the company’s vision, mission and goals to help investors decide if it has what it takes to succeed. It might seem easy enough on paper but in reality, many people find writing one difficult so here are some of the best practices for crafting an effective plan.
The “how to write a business plan step-by-step” is a guide that walks you through the process of writing your own business plan. The article provides helpful tips and tricks for creating an effective business plan.
Many experts advise beginning your business strategy with descriptions of the issue your company addresses and the solution it provides.
This is known as “problem and solution,” and it’s both frequent and useful—but it’s also all too often a missed opportunity.
Don’t limit yourself to describing the issue and its solution. Make others care for you.
As a narrative, the issue
Lumenostics, a Georgia Tech-based company, has presented a monitoring system that helps cancer survivors prevent the development of lymphedema, a grueling and disfiguring condition characterized by swollen limbs.
They began with a photograph of Ann, a lady who had overcome breast cancer. They informed us she had a one-in-five risk of developing lymphedema, and they showed us images of individuals suffering from the horrible swelling. All of this piqued our interest. We had a sense of what she was going through.
We felt the anguish as they continued with the statistics behind the tale. Of course, we needed the statistics, but they wouldn’t have had the same effect on their own.
Stories are the most ancient and probably the most effective means of communicating ideas, facts, beliefs, and even statistics. Stories have a lot of power. Consider the foundational tales of the world’s major faiths. Consider the origins of words like “sour grapes,” “the fox in the henhouse,” and “the emperor’s new robes.” Because they communicate, they all have power. They ring true. We are aware of their truths.
“Every human being has an inherent need to hear and tell tales, as well as to live by a story.”
“All human beings have an inherent desire to hear and tell tales, and to have a narrative to live by,” wrote Harvey Cox.
When it comes to untreated sewage in poor nations, the narrative begins with a photo of Bangkok’s filthy canals. When the issue is linked to autistic children’s services, the narrative begins with a normal family and what this means to them. They get to the specifics after we show that we care.
Every company sale has an issue attached to it. There is a narrative in every instance.
Consider your options. Who is this mysterious figure? Why were they on the lookout? What issue did they address? Every transaction is a solution to a problem for someone. Understand the issue you’re trying to solve, whether it’s a need, a want, or a reason to purchase. Consider marketing guru Theodore Leavitt’s famous quote: “People don’t want to purchase a quarter-inch drill; they want a quarter-inch hole.”
“What people want is a quarter-inch hole, not a quarter-inch drill.”
Putting your concept into a narrative doesn’t imply you have to lose sight of the essence. What more you include is, of course, dependent on the particular, short-term goal of your company plan. If you’re making a plan for internal use, the narrative may suffice if it appeals to the appropriate audience. However, if you want to share with outsiders, such as investors or bankers, you should provide extra information that those readers would desire.
This, of course, includes the figures. By the time we were interested in the Lumenostics pitch, we also wanted to know how many others had the same issue Ann had. Lymphedema affects approximately 900,000 cancer survivors each year, with a total of about 10 million patients in the United States. Facts are important, but you must first pique people’s interest.
When it comes to angel investors, they aren’t going to trust statistics without a narrative to back them up. They want to be able to judge the size of the market for themselves.
As a narrative, the answer
Half of the narrative is about the issue, and the other half is about the solution. It’s the shoe that has been waiting to drop for a long time.
Consider not just how but also why your company addresses that issue, and why your staff is uniquely suited to lead the way. What is your distinguishing feature that leads to your novel solution to this problem?
In the instance of Lumenostics’ pitch, the answer to Ann’s issue is a $200 wearable gadget that comes with a $100 subscription. We were thrilled by the comparatively cheap cost and broad accessibility of the solution once we grasped the issue because of the way the narrative flowed. Then we discovered that the team comprised the creator, as well as additional founders with expertise in technology and the medical field.
As a result, the solution must fit the issue, but it must also show how one business differs from its rivals. If the issue in a restaurant business plan is excellent cuisine, for example, the solution should presumably demonstrate how the restaurant’s owners and staff can reliably provide fine food. If the answer to the issue is software, it must also address how the team delivering the software is qualified.
You may have heard the term “secret sauce,” which is a metaphor for what makes this solution unique and superior. Consider how your staff feels about the secret sauce.
Investors often ask founders what sparked their interest in a particular issue, and I’ve heard pitches where the solution narrative includes the tale of how the company founders discovered the problem. Perhaps they’d experienced a software issue as a user; perhaps they’d encountered a medical issue as a result of their own or a family member’s health problems.
The owners of a healthy fast food restaurant chain, for example, began the company because one of them had severe dietary limitations due to a medical issue. Including a cause in the mix may be very beneficial.
Your business plan should clearly state the issue and solution, but telling a narrative about it will pique people’s interest.
The “tips for writing a business plan” is a blog post that discusses how to make people care about your business plan. The article includes tips on how to write an effective business plan, and what you should include in it.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I make my business plan more attractive?
A: This is a difficult question to answer. If you are just starting out, it may be helpful if you have an idea of what your business would sell in order not to waste time with no sales coming up.
How do I make my business plan stand out?
A: If youre struggling to make people notice your business, it might be because your business plan is not as unique and exciting as you think. Consider trying a new angle on what makes your company special or hire someone who has experience in making attractive marketing materials for businesses like yours.
What makes a great business plan?
A: This will vary greatly depending on your business and the industry you plan to operate in. A great business plan is one that outlines a competitive advantage, thorough marketing strategy, and achievable goals for success. If you are unsure whether or not your idea of making a controller for Beat Saber would be profitable please contact us at [email protected]
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