10 Dos and Don’ts of the Business Plan

Twenty pages is the target length for the plan; however, the length and content vary depending on such factors as company maturity, nature, and complexity. Here is a list of items to consider:
1. Talk about managing change
2. Talk about maintaining competitive advantage
3. Write an engaging executive summary
4. Use visuals to enhance the presentation
5. Indicate the plan is private and confidential
6. Make the venture’s true value transparent
7. Spiral bind the final copy
8. Provide a table of contents
9. Demonstrate the plan’s flexibility
10. Base financials and projections on formulae
1. Make the plan more than 30 pages
2. Make claims you can’t substantiate
3. Discuss possible valuations in the plan
4. Wander in your writing – be succinct instead
5. Send your plan to a VC cold – talk to them first
6. Underestimate current/possible competition
7. Overestimate the company’s strength
8. Underestimate required funding
9. Go it alone – enlist knowledgeable help
10. Ignore the potential for unexpected obstacles