Craft your business plan with your audience in mind

If you are about to launch a new venture, your business plan is going to be a highly important tool to help you reach your goals.

You may want several versions of the plan because you will want to target different audiences for different reasons. That said, here are five points to include in every version.

1. Back up your claims

If you describe your product line as the best, explain why it is better than your competitors’ products. If you extol the abilities of your management staff, provide resumes that show their qualifications. In other words, back up your claims, and avoid exaggeration.

2. Use conservative projections

Do not go overboard on projections. Your financial projections should be credible, so be conservative in your estimates.

3. Know your competition

It is acceptable to name your competition in a business plan. Explain how your business differs and why it is better than the others. However, do not disparage your competitors.

4. Be realistic

Entrepreneurs often misjudge the time it takes to get a new business up and running. Being realistic about the time and resources you will need in launching your enterprise will help with the credibility factor. Plan on everything taking 15% longer than you anticipate.

5. Address investor options

Depending on the business plan version you are offering, you should discuss when investors can expect to get their money back and at what rate of return. Alternatively, you can mention that you are open to discussing investment options with serious prospects.

Seek professional help

There are many elements to a business plan. The content and the way you write the plan will be important: You want to show your products or services, your goals and your preparation for success in the best light. You also want to avoid any possible legal missteps. In launching your new enterprise, you can rely on legal guidance to help develop a business plan that will prove attractive to the audience you have in mind.