5 Tips for a Millennial Writing a Business Plan
As millennials become a bigger part of the economy, a considerable number of them are making the decision to launch businesses of their own. Entrepreneurship has taken hold of a considerable segment of millennials.
A millennial interested in starting a business, needs to understand what must be done to create an ideal, effective business plan. There are five important tips for a millennial writing a business plan. The reality is that each of these tips can be helpful to any entrepreneur intent on developing a meaningful and effective business plan. Nonetheless, the focus is on guiding a millennial to craft and create a dynamic, effective business plan.
Eliminate the Fluff
One of the most common mistakes people in all generational cohorts make is to put too much material into a business plan. Although a business plan needs to be thorough, it also must concise. All filler language must be eliminated, even if it “sounds nice.”
What millennials must keep in mind when preparing a business plan for a startup proposal is that investors and others do not want to read a long business plan. They simply do not have the time. If a business plan even appears to be “too long,” an investor is apt to not even give it a first look, let alone a complete one.
In the final analysis, a person preparing a business must spend an appropriate amount of time drafting it in the first instance. However, as matter of common practice, even more time should spend editing and revising.
Millennials are known for what seems like boundless optimism. While being terribly optimistic has its place, and can even be inspiring, the place for unbridled optimism is not in a business plan.
A millennial must be realistic in creating a business plan. Pie in the sky proclamations have not part in a business plan. If a person has a good idea, a business plan needs to present that concept in a realistic fashion so that it stands on its own.
A business plan needs to be conservative in its presentation. What this means is that a business plan must be conservative in its financial projections and in regard to meeting milestones. Indeed, the established milestones themselves must be conservative.
Even if you privately think you have developed reasonable revenue and expense projections, they may not be so. Therefore, err on the side of being conservative and decrease your revenue projections and increase the tally for your anticipate costs.
The need to take a reasonably conservative approach to the presentation in your business plan also underscores the need to have a trusted person review it before you use it. Enlist a trusted colleague who understands your business concept and who has at least some experience in business. Have that individual evaluate your revenue and expense projections in order to ascertain if they make sense and fall within a conservative range. Moreover, don’t dismiss their suggestions. Consider them seriously.
You don’t want a business plan to be an unending sea of typing. Incorporate appealing visuals in your business plan. Having said that, make certain that any visual you add into your business plan serves an actual purpose. Not only must you eliminate written fluff, but you must do the same with visuals as well.
Take care not to use free stock images that can be found in abundance online. One of the worst things that can happen in presenting a business plan is to have the recipient recognize an image from somewhere else.
When this occurs, an investor or some other party may reason that if you’re being a bit disingenuous in regard to images, what else within a business plan may not be completely on the up and up.
Finally, when you are creating a business plan, you can be creative. You don’t want to go overboard in this regard. However, you can incorporate some reasonable design and layout concepts that make your business plan stand at least somewhat apart from the pack.
Being creative is a wise course. If you do go overboard in this regard, design may end up trumping substance and your business plan becomes far less effective. Indeed, if you utilize some completely unusual design concepts, a perspective investor might go so far as to question your judgment.
Finally, when it comes to being creative, know your audience. What works in one industry, or with on group of potential investors, may have the opposite effect with others.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who focuses on personal finance and other money matters. She currently writes for Checkworks.com, where you can get personal checks and business checks.