For most founders, writing a business plan feels like the startup equivalent of homework.
It’s the thing you know you have to do, but nobody actually wants to do.
Before you set fingers to the keyboard, we’re going to walk you through the most important things to keep in mind to help you tackle the writing process confidently — with plenty of real life business plan examples along the way! There’s no version of you presenting an 80-page business plan to an investor and they enthusiastically dive in and take hours out of their day to pore over the thing front to back.
There’s this oldschool idea that business plans need to be ultra-dense, complex documents the size of a doorstop because that’s how you convey how serious you are about your company. Complexity and length for complexity and length’s sake is almost never a good idea, especially when it comes to writing a business plan. If your chief goal is using your business plan to secure investment capital, then it means you intend on getting it in front of an investor. Instead, they’re looking for you to get your point across as quickly and clearly as possible so they can skim your plan and get to the most salient parts to determine whether or not they think your opportunity is worth pursuing (or at the very least initiating further discussions).
This will also help your reader better visualize what your business is all about. Our business planning wizard comes pre-loaded with modular sections that you can complete in any order and makes it ridiculously easy to generate any financial report you could possibly ever need.
Your business isn’t static, so why should your business plan be?if your business plan is laden with inconsistent margins, multiple font types and sizes, missing headings and page numbers, and lacks a table of contents, it’s going to create a far less digestible reading experience.While there’s no one way to format your plan, the idea here is to ensure that it presents professionally.Limit your plan to two typefaces (one for headings and one for body copy and subheadings, for example) that you can find in a standard text editor like Microsoft Word or Google Docs.Only pick fonts that are easy to read and contain both capital and lowercase letters.A good rule of thumb is sticking to standard one-inch margins all around.Your business plan is made up of several key sections, like chapters in a book.Here’s the good news: writing your business plan doesn’t have to be this daunting, cumbersome chore.Once you understand the fundamental questions that your business plan should answer for your readers and how to position everything in a way that compels your them to take action, writing it becomes way more approachable.A good business plan is always evolving, and every last detail is rarely ever set in stone.This means that the first version of your plan probably won’t (and shouldn’t be) your last.