So you've compiled the market research, crunched the numbers and completed you business plan. Now, the real work begins. Before you submit your business plan to investors, get another set of eyes to look at it. Then, create a business proposal or executive summary to hook potential investors and lenders. Do your homework on your prospects and seek out investor groups that specialize in your industry. Lastly, when it's time to take action, do so -- immediately.
The business plan is your company's road map to success. It shows how you plan to get there. Many first-time entrepreneurs may leave out key components, which could be disastrous when presenting to investors or venture capitalists. Just like a term paper in school, you may discover through revisiting it you can do better. Meet up with veterans in your industry and get their opinions on your plan. Their candor will save you time, money and heartache.
Executive summaries or business proposals should be completed after the business plan. Many business owners make the mistake of writing it first. Just like a sportscaster giving highlights of a game that hasn't finished yet -- it doesn't work. Your executive summary must convey a deep familiarity of satisfying an unfulfilled need. Consider including past testimonials from previous clients. The objective of your business proposal is to get the investor excited about your company.
Investors, lenders and venture capitalists can specialize in certain industries. You can dramatically increase your odds of securing funding by finding groups that prefer businesses like yours. Investors are everywhere, but generally prefer face-to-face meetings when investing their funds. Accordingly, be prepared to go to them. Even if you plan to meet with dozens of banks and investor groups, customize each pitch to your audience to maximize impact.
Plans weren't made to be filed away and forgotten. They were made to be implemented. Your leadership will be vital to achieving what's written in your plan. Identify experts in your industry and gain best practices from them. If you have a staff, ensure that they are fully supported and trained, especially if they represent your company's first contact with your customers. Taking swift and decisive action may make it possible to recover from any plan shortcomings.
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