Ten tips for writing a good business plan

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Ten tips for writing a strong business plan

by Tony Novak, CPA, MBA, MT
, revised 11/29/2011

1. Write It yourself. You will learn far more than if you use a professional writer or a canned template.
2. Break it down. Writing a whole business plan can be an overwhelming task but doing a small part is far more manageable. It will come together step-by-step .
3. Use fewer words. Outline format or bullet points are fine. Avoid long passages of text. Most business plans wind up being in excess of 20 pages anyway.
4. Get input. Get advice, feedback and comparisons from friends, advisers, and colleagues.
5. Discuss demand. Consider the size of your market. If you are proposing a new product or service, prove that the demand exists.
6. Discuss supply. List and describe your competitors.
7. Emphasize differences. Highlight the distinctions that make you different from your competitors. Be fair about your disadvantages.
8. Emphasize the marketing plan. This should be the most developed portion of your business plan.
9. Edit for consistency. Make sure the same numbers used in the text are reflected in the financial statements.
10. Update it often. Realize you plan will change before the ink dries, so keep a copy on your desk to be used for mark-ups and frequent revisions. Change is good.

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