How to write a good business plan

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Having a workable business plan as an entrepreneur is one of the best ways to attract investors and give direction to your new organization. However, crafting a comprehensive business plan that makes sense for your business can be a daunting task, especially if you’ve never gone through the process before.

Knowing how others have managed to create a solid plan is remarkably helpful. Even if you don’t exactly follow their steps, you still get a much better idea of ​​the framework you need, as well as an overview of potentially unseen issues ahead.

To get you started, we asked 13 entrepreneurs from YEC to comment on the most effective processes you can use to build a solid business plan, and why these methods work. Here’s what they said:

1. Sell something first

Although it sounds harsh, I would advise new entrepreneurs to sell at least one unit of their product or service before making a business plan, preferably more. It’s too easy to sit in front of a computer and tweak your website or business plan while trying to make it perfect. The only way to know if it’s good is to speak with actual or potential customers. Then be open to continued iteration. – Brian samson, True North

2. Draw a mind map

When I am brainstorming business ideas, the first thing I do is draw a mind map. It starts with a central idea in the center, with tangential ideas branching out to form a network. The result is a messy yet comprehensive visual representation of the common thought patterns related to this central idea. From there, I reduce my mind map until I have a handful of concepts to form into a business plan. – Bryce welker, Crush The PM Exam

3. Use LivePlan

LivePlan is ideal for creating a business plan because it is simple to use and comprehensive. It is also particularly beneficial for recruits as it goes through the process step by step. It can help create financial calculations and forecasts, and you can import data from other software as well. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

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4. Start with the answer

I find that the most important thing for a clear business plan is to start by defining the problem you are solving and how you are solving it in one sentence. I find this to work because it not only forces you to have a clear picture in mind of what you’re actually doing and why to begin with, but it also gives that same clarity to anyone who is going to read or otherwise digest the plan. – Sasha kucharczyk, Pretect

5. Drop the plan and focus on the model

Business plans are a wordy mess of ambitious thoughts that will require massive overhaul. Your time spent coaxing words down to the last sentence is best spent on the basics and ideas at the bullet level. How Does Your Business Make Money? What are the large-scale operational needs? What testable assumptions guide your business? Great Excel template and slides are 10x better and show you understand ROE. – Trevor Sumner, Interactive pole

6. Know your growth formula

The book “Hacking Growth: How Today’s Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success” by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown mentions that the most successful startups have a formula for growth. For example, a typical SaaS business growth formula might look like this: “Web traffic * email conversion rate * active user rate * conversion to paying subscribers + retained and resurrected subscribers = revenue growth from subscribers “. Know your formula and have a plan for each variable. – Chris Christoff, Monster Insights

7. Identify convincing behavior

Not all ideas are business ideas, and not all business ideas are good business ideas. People often fall in love with their business without realizing that other people (i.e. your customers) need to fall in love with it as well. Forget the business plan. First, identify the compelling behavior or need that people are ready to act on. – Leyda hernandez, It’s Luxury

8. Start with the opportunity

Planning is an extremely important part of any business, and not just at the beginning. The biggest difference between your first plan and your current (annual) plans is that your initial business plan should state with conviction what the opportunity is and why you are in a good position to pursue it. When times get tough, you’ll want to look back and remember it. – Bi fan, Menswear reviewed

9. Decide if there really is a market

Starting lean is great. Most importantly, when you start this process, make sure you really consider your audience. Many clients come to us with products or services that have a good plan, but have no idea that with the best SEO in the world, there really is no market for what they are selling or producing. – a reality that is difficult for a business owner to face. – Matthieu capala, Alphametic

10. Build a forecast

Once I start to envision a new business idea, I work to estimate the size of the opportunity. I start with a simple financial model that allows me to see the base case, a high optimistic case and a pessimistic low case. So I ask myself: “is the base case big enough?” Does that only work if we hit the high case (which would lead me to kill the idea due to the unbalanced risk-reward ratio)? – Jonathan gass, Nomad Financial

11. Make the Compact Plan

You have to find the essential core of your idea and tell that story. What makes you special, what makes this idea work, and what are your unique ideas. Since you’re just starting out, you probably don’t know all the details yet and that’s okay – rather focus on what makes your team well suited to tackle this problem. By keeping the plan simple, your idea will get to the right people faster. – Raad Ahmed, Law

12. Start with a high level executive

A detailed business plan can execute and contain a lot of irrelevant information if it isn’t structured from the start. As with everything in life, I encourage people to start at a high level and then develop from there. You need to create a decent one-page document first, as this will be important for the initial partnership and investment arguments anyway. The feedback from these pitches will guide you. – Andy karuza, FenSense

13. Contact the SBA

Uber’s focus on crafting the perfect business plan can doom a business before it even starts. Yes, it is essential to plan, research and have a clear vision, but don’t get bogged down. Find a good getting started guide. The SBA, which often partners with SCORE, Retired Executives Helping Entrepreneurs Succeed, is a great free, in-person resource. – Joey kercher, Fresh air marketing



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