Ask These Questions
Another way to tell if your plan is bad is to ask yourself, does it answer the following questions?
Outlook – What is the outlook of the business or goals, and how will the company continually strive to reach these goals?
Too Technical – No matter what you plan on selling, keep in mind the reader may not be savvy enough to understand the technical side—so use plain language that’s easy to read. The reader must be able to understand what it is you’re selling without asking questions about products or services after reading the plan.
Bumps Facing the Company – Never leave out a SWOT analysis—this essentially will show the reader in a snapshot important elements such as the competition, what makes your company and products strong in today’s market, what opportunities you can capture, and what processes you will use to overcome threats from demographics or other hurdles you will need to jump along the way.
Lack of Financial Documents – Lenders and investors want these—especially if you are applying for a small business loan. Banks have very defined ways on how they “spread" your financial numbers to see if you will be able to achieve what you promise.
Including Incorrect Information – Business plan readers are smart. They will be able to spot blatant mistakes so make sure your information is accurate.
Proofreading – If you don’t want to proofread your plan and check for the appropriate use of grammar, then have someone else do this for you. No reader wants to see typos or poor grammar; this is a sure way to kill your plan.
Length – Avoid a plan that is too long. Sure, you have a lot of areas to cover in each element--but they shouldn’t be novels in and of themselves. Take out redundancies and other information not pertinent to the plan. For example, the reader doesn’t want to know how you developed your vision or mission; he just wants to know what they are.