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Writing business plans that win business and influence people

*Article written by Writing Angels

Every business should start life with a detailed business plan – but it's essential if you need financing or funding to get your idea of the ground. So how do you create a plan that will win round even the most seasoned investor?

Your business plan could conceivably be the most important business document you ever create. Whether you need it to encapsulate your thoughts, provide your company with its direction, or to secure much needed investment, your business plan should act as an all-encompassing statement of intent that addresses every aspect of your commercial idea.

Getting help
Putting such a plan together has never seemed easier. All the major banks can give you free guidance on how to construct your plan, and a blueprint to get you started. For a couple of hundred pounds you can buy software that literally walks you through every step, highlighting what information you should be including, and giving you advice on what areas you should consider.

This is invaluable in helping you to consider properly whether your business idea is viable, marketable, sustainable and ultimately profitable. But what it can’t do is write the plan for you. It's how you actually convey the information in your plan - the need for your idea; the market you're aiming to target; the vision and skill of your management team – that determines whether a bank, partner or investor sees it as a sound proposition, or one that raises more questions than it answers.

Spin or substance?
With banks and investors seeing literally hundreds of plans a week yours needs to stand out from the crowd. To do this it has to be highly persuasive - but a business plan is no place for spin. It needs to be accurate and honest –you're only kidding yourself otherwise, and an investor will quickly see through unsubstantiated hype. Its ability to win confidence and investment must come not from spin, but from the highly professional and convincing way it is presented and argued.

Including the right information
When reviewing a business plan writer ask them also to provide you with a checklist of the information they want from you. They should request details on every aspect of your idea that will be of interest to the bank or the investor – background on the concept’s inception; who will make up the management team; the offering in detail; competitors; planned sales and marketing strategy; operational set-up and financial projections.

A good business plan writer will also ask for every source of information you can provide, from press articles to your own research and key personnel CVs. The best will also undertake their own research into your concept and the target market, to ensure they fully understand your market, and can further substantiate your concept.

Addressing weaknesses
Look also for a business plan writer that won’t be afraid to ask you some awkward questions during the project. When drafting a plan the weaknesses in the idea become very apparent, and a business plan writer with your best interests at heart will flag these concerns and ask how you intend to address them – not simply dismiss or write around them. An experienced one might even guide you on how you could overcome them. What they will then do is take that input to construct sound, solid and persuasive arguments that don't raise unnecessary alarm bells in an investor’s mind.

An all-round business marketer
Writing a good business plan, more than anything, requires a business-minded marketer. A good copywriter can only make sure you sound professional. Your plan needs to convince stakeholders and investors, who view businesses in terms of their management and staff structure, operational efficiency, financial stability and marketing potential. This means it must be written by a writer that has a sound understanding of all of these aspects – and that requires proven business acumen and real marketing savvy.

Only you – through proper research and early planning - can determine whether and how your business will be viable. But by working with a professional business plan writer with the right level of commitment, experience and skill your idea could be the one that grabs that investor’s attention – and makes your entrepreneurial vision a reality.

Click here for our Top 10 Guide to Finding a Professional Business Plan Writer

© Writing Angels, 2006.

To discuss your business plan in confidence to see how we can help simply call us on 01634 389100, or complete our enquiry form online for one of our Project Managers to contact you.

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