The business plan

Just random notes 'cause...

Don't know what to include in the plan?

See, sorted to the top of Google results (ahem?). Somewhat useful to see it, but it's a little longer than necessary unless you're tempted to buy it ($97).

  1. One-line description of company, summarizes what it does, not a paragraph.
  2. Financial model expected expenses, revenues, etc.
  3. Risk-mitigating milestones, bumps in the road, expectations for success, including
    1. find location
    2. permits
    3. staff
    4. monthly sales expected
    5. why can eliminate risk
    6. competitors?
    7. legal requirements/caveats
  4. Very important: whay are you uniquely qualified!

There are 6 more questions, but you have to buy this guy's product.


  1. use business plan software (which are missing the 10 things)
  2. use sample business plans (which are incorrect, can't answer #4)


  1. Use GrowThink's Ultimate Business Template
  2. It's delivered as MS Word
  3. There is no software to install
  4. You type answers into document
  5. You fill in the blank exercises
  6. The template has #4, you delete the ones that don't apply
  7. The same for one-line description
  8. Do the complete financial model in Excel, completes 5-year financials
  9. Tells where to download market analysis for your product
  10. Gives the 24 best marketing tactics
  11. You get 365 days e-mail support for free

What's wrong in the advice out there? Among other things, the suggestion to multitask? NO!

More stuff (not from GrowThink)

  1. Prove filling an unmet need in the market?
  2. How I will acquire and retain customers?
  3. Better than competition?
  4. Story behind financial forecasts.


Of course, most of these are pretty much entitled, "How to Write a Business Plan."

Common listed components

  1. Executive summary
  2. Company overview
  3. Business description
  4. Business offering (product or service)
  5. Local market and competitive landscape/Competitive analysis
  6. Marketing plan and analysis/Marketing strategies/Sales, marketing and promotion
  7. Strategy and implementation/Design and development plan
  8. Operations and management plan/Management team
  9. Financial projections/data
  10. Investment
  11. Appendices

Common mistakes

  1. Thinking you don't need a business plan
  2. Speaking in features
  3. Writing the plan in a vacuum
  4. Looking only to the near future