Business plans are crucial to a company’s strategic and operating plan for upcoming year(s), as well as for the purposes of attracting equity, debt, and working capital financing.
Why are business plans important?
Whether or not you are looking to raise capital, it is important that you outline your objectives for the upcoming year. Business plans can be an internal document for management purposes to set objectives and action plans, as well as a document that will keep the management team accountable to its stakeholders. Potential investors and lenders will also require detailed business plans for evaluating the opportunity in front of them. Hence, it is important that business plans are written well and highlight the key points of your business in a way that will most likely attract capital. Regardless, professionally written business plans can only benefit the management of your company and make it more attractive to investors and lenders.
Business plans should include an Executive Summary (believe it or not, many investors and lenders will only read this part before accepting a meeting); a more detailed Business Overview which includes a description of the company and its products and services, Background or History, and an analysis of the Industry, Market trends and Competitors; and finally a Sales & Marketing, Operations, and Financial Plan.
Various templates for business plans are available on the Web and may not be rocket science for many entrepreneurs and managers. However, speaking from 15+ years as an investor, lender, advisor, and operator; only a fraction of business plans will attract the attention of investors and lenders. Potential providers of capital see hundreds of business plans a year, and only a few make the shortlist. Therefore, owners and managers need to make the most of this opportunity. Furthermore, even in owner-operated situations where financing is not a priority, many managers run their business “on a whim” without a detailed Business Plan and Budget. This is not advisable as management will not be focused on key objectives and it will be difficult to hold people accountable for their performance.
We’d be very pleased to leverage 15+ years of experience as an investor, lender, operator and advisor to help you plan for the years ahead and make your company more attractive to providers of capital.