Crafting the perfect plan is difficult – and no two plans are likely to be the same, since they depend on the circumstances of the company, the objective, and the team behind achieving the results. Despite this variation, there are a few important points that remain consistent, and remembering to keep these covered will help you make the most of your opportunities, and improve the quality of your professional business plan. This is by no means an exhaustive list but we analyze five big mistakes you want to avoid to help you on your way to crafting the perfect plan.
Don’t Assume You Don’t Need a Plan
You may think that you don’t need a plan for a project or relatively small undertaking, but putting together the document will not only help you remember what you’re doing (especially if you’re presenting to others), but will also clearly focus what you need to achieve, when it needs to be done, and the most efficient way of doing it.
If you’re planning on presenting to others (stakeholders, investors, etc), then having a plan is an absolute must – your presentation is a one off, something that may (or may not) go well on the day, but is a single event. By having a well-rounded, well-formatted, and comprehensive plan – you can ensure that they have something to refer back to, and everyone is kept on the same page.
Don’t lose Focus of Your Goal
Your business plan needs to focus on one goal at a time – you may have a number of different goals overall, but each should have its own specific section that only deals with that point or, if necessary, leads into the next point at the end.
Formatting is vital – there should be no spelling errors, the content needs to be clear and well prepared, and it should provide all the information a stakeholder needs, in an easily searchable format, to make it as functional as possible.
Don’t be tempted to overdo it with graphics, whilst you do need some (especially if there are text heavy sections), if the document is made too long because of an abundance of images, you’re going to cheapen the value of the proposition and come across as unprofessional or worse, as someone who needs to rely on filler because there is no substance to the proposition.