Before you start writing a business plan, ask yourself this question: Who is your intended audience for the business plan? The answer to this simple question can and should greatly affect the way you write the plan as well as what areas you target. Some of the people who could be audiences for your plan could be: Yourself and Your Business Partners: For this target audience, the process of writing the business plan will be just as important as the product that results. In other words, the act of writing the plan will help you to clearly understand the challenges and opportunities that your business faces. When you gather data, analyze competition, conduct market research and other activities like that, you will be able to reach a level of comprehension of the plan you could not achieve otherwise. Once your plan is completed it can serve as a reference that will point your company in a tactical and strategic direction. Investors: Investors when they read business plans are looking with their eyes for things that will ensure a good return on their investment. They will look closer at your intellectual assets and other assets, financial projections, and the structure of your business model. If your plan can show a long term competitive advantage. Investors often provide equity financing, they will also want to know if your plan will substantiate with the market opportunity. Many will also want to know your ability to get started in the market and grow. Lenders. Lenders, (for example a bank), will provide debt financing. If your business plan is targeting lenders, you should try and show how stable the market is as well as how your new business will earn money to pay back the money loaned to you. Bank Loan Officers primary concern is whether or not your venture is a risky one. A equity investor may believe that a high risk venture can also yield a high reward project, but to a lender, they are much more likely to believe that a high risk venture is a high worry venture. Advisors: You might consider making a draft of the plan that you can show to people you consider advisors such as professors and mentors. You can also show off areas to them you are uncertain about or places you think could use help.
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