Get Your Startup Funded!
Writing your business plan may feel like running a marathon. It’s a long, overwhelming process. How do you know your efforts will be acknowledged by investors? How do you inspire them to fall in love with your brilliant idea?
The Executive Summary as a Directory
While the executive summary is often placed first in a finalized business plan, you should work on it last. Your potential investors won’t read every word of your business plan, and most will only skim a few pages before they decide it’s worth further reading. The smartest thing you can do regarding your executive summary is to direct the investor to the document’s most compelling statements. Think of it as a directory. Make it easy for the investor to say yes. The investor can read the details later once it’s in the “yes” pile.
Bring the Numbers to Life
Some investors are purely interested in the numbers in your financial projections. However, most human beings need to be told a compelling story to feel emotionally invested in your project. You need a solid plan, but in order to be pushed over the edge, investors need to get excited. Take your potential investor on a journey. Tell them a story about what will be done, when it will be done, how it will be done, and who will be doing it.
Use Buzzwords With Caution
Industry-specific buzzwords can function as a type of shorthand and create an instant connection with your investor; however, use them sparsely, and use them correctly. Every word you write must accurately describe your meaning. Remember, the most important interpretation of the buzzword lies with your potential investor. Will the buzzword conjure up the same emotion for them as it does for you? Avoid generic buzzwords such as “world class” and “customer satisfaction”, which have become tired and have lost their impact.
Be Transparent With Your Progress
When you first start compiling your achievements, you may be tempted to inflate your plan with promises about the future. Don’t use fluffy marketing language to distract the reader from the work you have done. While there is always room to discuss potential growth, the most compelling business plans exhibit actual progress that you have made. Investors know that Rome wasn’t built in a day. They want to fund entrepreneurs who show a track record of action.
Don’t Give Up!
Investors turn away plans for all types of reasons. If your business plan gets rejected, continue refining bits and pieces every time you make a submission. Remember that most successful business owners heard many “no’s” before receiving their “yes”. To get your idea funded, stay persistent and make purposeful adjustments as you learn new ideas.
Have you thought about hiring a business consultant? I’ve helped many entrepreneurs get their business plans funded for the last 8 years with a 60% success rate. I’m eager to share my secrets with you and get your venture off the ground. Visit my business development page, and I’ll show you how to get started.
The most important point of the whole decision making process is to realize that one or two bad decisions won’t make or break your company or your career. Learn from them and move on, refining your process as you go!