You’ve got this awesome business idea . You’re excited, inspired, and fired-up to take the entrepreneurial route –congratulations!
Next big step: write a business plan.
Though there’s an abundance of tips on how to write one, we want you to go beyond the fundamentals and spread a little magic through your business plan. So we’ve whipped up some of the common mistakes new entrepreneurs make when penning their plans.
1: Thinking business plans are only for seeking investments
A lot of budding entrepreneurs think they only need to write a business plan to get investors, but it is much more than that. Developing a business plan gives you a chance to thoroughly evaluate your idea, uncover its upsides and potential challenges, and, most importantly, forestall them from happening. It’s your chance to take a long and hard at your ideas’ weaknesses and decide whether or not you can overcome them.
Business plans are supposed to help you uncover obstacles and deciding if your idea is completely impractical. It is a valuable pressure test to help you overcome potential pitfalls.
2. Thinking it’s all about fancy claims
All too often, when pitching business ideas, people are more interested in the Why ? Why will people care to patronize you? Why does it matter that your business exists at all?
This is the most important part of your plan.Why should anyone buy your product, even if it’s cheaper than that of competitors? Can they be easily bought at the store? This is the concept people buy into and are eager to adopt as your selling mission. Ultimately, customers care a lot more about that than fancy claims.
3. Thinking you don’t need to learn from competitors
It’s really okay to turn to other companies who’ve done it before and borrow their recipes for success. We understand—you’re a little jealous of how well they’ve done. But how about finding out exactly how they got there? What did they refuse to compromise on? What did they passionately go after? The trick here is to know what makes these companies tick —then apply those to your own idea.
Look into other platforms to see what lessons to adopt. It would be helpful in giving a direction for your business and solidifying your expectations in reality.
4. Thinking about only the near future
Take time to analyze the bigger picture. What do you want your business to be known for 5 years down the road? What footprints do you want to leave? Think beyond just the current impact of that product or service.
Having an ambition is the lifeblood of any business. Don’t just change things, but change them for the better. And above all else, a business plan should capture that sentiment on every page.
When you sit down to write your business plan, be sure to leave some room for authenticity. This will get you investors, customers, awareness, and most of all—personal conviction of the business.
Are you an ambitious budding entrepreneur? Do you have a business plan? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments!