Sunday, July 25, 2010

10 Great Business Plan Ideas!

The first of our great business plan ideas is:

1. Use Color, But Use It Sparingly.

For decades business plan were excruciating boring documents in black and white, mostly because color printing was expensive. Even back then we recommended buying one ream of paper with a color line down the left side and using that for the business plan. It was just enough to add a touch of zing to the presentation.

And it is that "touch of zing" that makes the difference. Bankers are quiet people. Don't shout at them with blasts of color on every page.

2. Incorporate Charts

Yes, you may need some long columns of numbers. But turn the important numbers into charts. A visual impact hits a lot stronger with a picture.

3. Picture Yourself

Speaking of pictures, do include one of yourself, perhaps in a group with others. Yes, it creates a personal approach. It also makes you "real". Including pictures of some of your top clients is a good idea too. Most business plan ideas incorporating work you have done previously is good.

4. Double Duty Advertising

Advertising isn't cheap. But it is probably pretty good. So include some of your ads in the business plan. The ads certainly show what your business does, and how you approach your clients, two very important considerations.

5. Beam Me Up, Scotty

Your entry into the world of the internet can indeed impress, and is one of our top business plan ideas. There is nothing else that will demonstrate your creativity and business acumen at such a low price. Take your site as far as you can. Turn it into a retail site, or a lead generation site, or an informational site. Structured properly, it will even begin to generate income for you.

6. e-Plans

Convert your business plan to a pdf. Put it on a disk, and put that disk in an envelope in your business plan. Be sure to add linking and chapter headings for easy searching. The more complex your plan, the more important this becomes. It makes it very easy for investors to find just the section they are looking for.

7. All That Other Stuff

When we asked associates for business plan ideas, several of them suggested that you should include a "supplemental book" with all the backup information in it. We disagree. Such a book is bulky, intimidating and easily misplaced. Rather, put that "other stuff" onto the disk with your pdf. Or, put the "other stuff" onto a protected, password accessed area of your business plan.

8. Cover It Up

Always include a cover letter. You may personally deliver the business plan to your banker, but still put a cover letter on top. You really don't know how many hands that business plan will pass through, so make it as professional as possible.

9. Drop Names

Do you have an Advisory Board? Did you approach industry leaders for advice? Now is the time to use those names and use those connections. The names may look nice in an annual report, but your company may never get an annual report if you don't start using those connections now.

And here is one of the best business plan ideas ever:

10. Promote Yourself

Break every rule in the book if need be. But make sure that the business plan represents you and your business. Mess up the order of the sections. Put in non-standard material. Use an unusual design. It doesn't matter what it is that you do, as long as the plan shows your company in its best light.

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Read more:
Business Plan Pro 15th Anniversary Edition Business Plan Pro Premier 15th Anniversary EditionMcAfee Total Protection For Small Business - Advanced - Complete Package - 5 Users - CD - Win (35559D) Category: Extended Warranties and Service Plans

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