3 Reasons Why No One Ever Reads Your Business Plan
So you have spent hours and hours writing your own business plan, or maybe you have invested up to several thousand dollars to have a professional help you develop the perfect business plan. Although your plan is of tremendous value to you as an internal road map and strategic guide, a business plan is also commonly used to raise capital.
Now that your masterpiece is done, you have probably started to spread your business plan around to several bankers and potential investors. If so, you will probably start to wonder why no one seems to actually read through your plan. Let me elaborate on three simple reasons why no one will read your business plan.
- Too Long – If you have to send your business plan in two separate documents because it is too big to email as one single attachment, then your business plan is too long. If you kill an entire tree each time you print your business plan, then again, your business plan is too long. The point is that investors are busy and bankers rather go golfing, so if your business plan is over 30 pages only the most dedicated will even browse through the document. So where might you save some space? I would suggest that you keep your financial section short and sweet. Most entrepreneurs are far too optimistic with their projections anyway, and potential investors and bankers know that. So just include the basics, and be prepared to produce the details if anyone asks.
- Unsolicited Email – Another good way to make sure that your business plan ends up in the “Deleted” folder is to simply email every banker and investor within a 200 mile radius. Do you typically read a one paragraph email from someone you don’t know? You probably disregard or delete emails from people you don’t know personally. Now just imagine a 30 page email from someone you don’t know. Would you ever, under any circumstance, read this entire email? Work on building relationships before you just throw your business plan around.
- Executive Summary Fails to Compel and Intrigue – Another reason no one reads your business plan is because your executive summary is not doing its job. The purpose of your executive summary is not simply to summarize your entire business plan – rather it should sell the reader on your business opportunity. Work on compelling the reader to dig into the rest of the business plan. You may need to intrigue the reader with information that is fully discussed in the business plan. Finally, you need to grab the reader’s attention from the very beginning. Hit the reader with a “wow” statement with your first paragraph.
If your business plan has not been finding the results you were hoping it would, make sure that you are not falling victim to these three business plan mistakes. Remember that raising capital takes time, so be persistent and always continue to fine tune your business plan.
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