- Write down the plan. Prepare a written draft of your business plan. It should be short and concise, containing all the elements of the business in steps. Keep it current and updated. Keep the main points simple and highlighted for quick reference.
- Do not confuse cash with profit. Cash is the flowing money you spend to buy inventories. Profits are an accounting concept gained after much sweat in business. Delayed customer payments could cripple your financial situation but will not harm the profit. Plan to build an emergency cash fund to survive hard situations. Cash flow is critical; make a cash flow table in your business plan.
- Do not dilute priorities. Focus on three to four main priorities and work on them to strengthen the business plan. A plan listing twenty priorities will never be able to take off because of an unfocused approach.
- Do not overvalue the business idea. An idea on paper may look very lucrative but be a disaster in real life. It takes human power to shape it. Building products, shipping, selling and collecting payments, etc., are the realities of business.
- Do not confuse a plan with planning. The value of a plan is directly related to its implementation. Keep on revising your plan as you work on it in reality. A plan is a basic marker out of which the real planning takes off.
- Do not fudge the initial details. Keep a detailed account of your financial means, milestones, dates, responsibilities, deadlines, and task assignments while setting activity dates. Specify what is supposed to happen and who is to make it happen. A business plan should have even the smallest details to succeed.
- Have realistic goals. The objective of a business plan is to achieve the ultimate success in real business. So leave out the vague, hyped, and meaningless babble of business phrases.
- Hockey-stick growth projection. Be less optimistic and conservative in projecting your business plan. Too much hype can mar its effectiveness in real situations. Investors, too, are wary of high-flying ideas.
- Financial projections. Present a realistic picture of the anticipated growth of the company.
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