Create a Successful Business Plan with Tips from 5 Industry Experts

Imagine creating a detailed business plan decoding your present and future strategies, only to be told “Good effort, but we don’t believe this plan will work”. This is a situation every entrepreneur hopes to avoid, and certainly can.

Ideally, an effective business plan must precisely highlight :

  • Your business idea
  • Spot potential problems
  • Establish goals
  • Evaluate your progress

However, it is easier said than done. So, to help you get on the right track, we will let the industry experts do the talking.

Below are 5 important tips offered by 5 successful professionals for a business plan that’s sure to impress. Read carefully:

1. It’s the ‘business think’ that goes on behind the business plan that enables your business to fly.

[one_half] Says who: Allon Raiz: Founder and CEO of Raizcorp (Africa’s leading business incubator)

  • Why is it important:

There is no point simply following a template. If you do not actually have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of your industry, customers, team and potential challenges then sooner or later it’s sure to come across to the investors. Put honest efforts into understanding every aspect of your business.[/one_half]


2. Business plans that are all of five pages long, and terrible plans that are 50 pages long. Write it on a “need to know” basis.

[one_half]Says who: Martin Feinstein: Chairman of Enablis (Entrepreneurial Development Network)

  • Why is it important:

It would be meaningless spending long hours on creating something that is only visually impressive. Focus on short-listing the most necessary “need to know” aspects and build your business plan on those. Every detail and information must be created keeping the investor’s benefit in mind. Creativity is good, but your content must be the star.[/one_half]


3. The financials can enhance or harm your business plan’s chances in the capital-raising process.

[one_half]Says who: Nadine Todd: Editor Entrepreneur Magazine (SA’s top read business publication)

  • Why is it important:

Working out the finances can be an intimidating task, and investors are people who have a pretty realistic understanding of numbers. Plan, project and prepare for all expenses and the queries that you may have to deal with. If handling spreadsheets is not your forte, then hire a professional accountant for support.[/one_half]


4. You should spend eighty percent of your effort on writing a great executive summary and twenty percent on the rest of the plan.

[one_half]Says who: Guy Kawasaki, Best-selling author, speaker and investor

  • Why is it important:

The executive summary is what investors typically reach out for in a business plan. If it isn’t impressive, they may lose interest in reading beyond it. Focus on keeping the content simple, clear and precise. Avoid unnecessary dragging and explanation of concepts. You can consider help from an experienced editor.[/one_half]


5. Marketing represents a client or customer’s holistic view of your business. It is therefore of paramount importance not to ignore your marketing processes.

[one_half]Says who: Andre Diederichs: SMME Specialist at Old Mutual (International Financial Services Group)

  • Why is this important:

Your sales projections are of crucial importance to investors. An effective marketing and advertising strategy is fundamental for sales. Make sure you present your target customers with pamphlets and signage and invest in PR.

We would love to know your comments. Let us know what you think about this article, and do share it with your friends and colleagues.[/one_half]


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Jayden Samuelson
Jayden Samuelson is an online marketing manager at Promo Direct. He is responsible for strategizing and executing all SEO and digital marketing plans for the company’s website. He is also a regular contributor to Promo Direct blog and several other sites. You can follow Jayden on Google+, Twitter and Facebook

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