The first principle of a successful business plan
From time to time, clients turn to us to edit their text, make a review of the business plan, and help to arrange the text part in the form of a presentation. Reading the works that we receive, we noticed that there are texts that are difficult to read, do not convey the essence of the project, and also have a lot of unnecessary information.
So, we decided to talk with you about writing a descriptive part of a business plan and share our own experience, which we designed in the form of rules.
The modern trend around the world is the desire for minimalism, the removal of excess and the saving of resources (both ours and others). The time when 200-page cafe business plans were in fashion, with a description of macroeconomic trends, an examination of the dynamics of GDP and other inappropriate information, has already passed. Remember that you have 5 minutes for the investor or partner to understand your proposal and project, therefore, when preparing the project, make sure that everything is clear, informative and … simple.
Yes, it is SIMPLICITY of presentation that is the first principle of a successful business plan.
But do not think that by “simplicity” we mean the “primitiveness” or “non-materiality” of the idea itself. No, we put in the concept of “simplicity”: comprehensibility, clarity and conciseness.
To achieve simplicity when writing a project, we suggest you use our rules, which we use in our work:
- When describing the project, try not to use specific words, heavy terminology and niche slang
You might think that the use of special terminology will indicate that you are smart and have knowledge in your field, but in practice this approach will only express disrespect for your reader. So, try to use clear and familiar words in the description, if there are terms, then it is better to give them explanations. And in order to demonstrate your knowledge, skills and experience there is a section “Project Team”.
- Reduce the description of the project to the most important essence
In order to focus the reader on the essence of your project, you need to discard all unnecessary information. The description of the project should contain information about the relevance of the problem that you are solving, about how now people (your future customers) are solving this problem. If the question of relevance and necessity of your idea is investigated correctly, the main essence of the project can be stated in several sentences. In order to catch on with your idea and it is remembered, it is better to put its essence in one concise expression – USP (a unique selling proposition).
- Use diagrams and drawings
Information that can be represented graphically must be presented graphically. These can be diagrams, drawings, road maps and various illustrations showing the essence of your project. We are sure that almost everything is possible to convey with the help of diagrams and drawings. Remember that visual information is perceived and remembered much better than text. As tests show, a person in 72 hours remembers only 20% of the information read. In the case of images, this indicator rises to 65%. So, instead of a thousand words, work on the images if you want to be remembered by the investor.
- Watch for consistent information
Incorrect sequence of providing information greatly complicates the perception of a business plan. Therefore, we propose to be guided by the International Business Planning Standards, which have their own Business Plan Content. Outline of a business plan according to the international UNIDO standard, tested over the years, convenient and familiar to banks, investors and funds. We advise you to use the existing plan, so the presentation of information will be more structured, consistent and logical.
I would like to complete our recommendations on the use of the first principle of drawing up a business plan by the expression of Antoine de Saint-Exupery “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing to add, but when there is nothing to remove.”
We are sure that a successful business plan should first of all be simple, concise, informative and understandable. Guided by this principle, you can be sure that the investor correctly understood the idea of the project and remembered among others.