Don’t Panic

DON’T PANIC

From How to Make Your Business Plan Standout for Investors, to Positive and Negative Cash Flow to Cost-Cutting, to some of the most common business plan mistakes to avoid, don’t panic! We’ve got you covered.

According to Tim Berry, Business Planning Expert and founder of Palo Alto Software, during a business crisis, change comes at you fast. Meaning that good business planning is crucial to the survival and success of your business. However, even when you’re not navigating through a crisis, it’s easy to make mistakes that can prove to be costly for your business. These include: Not planning, using a single static plan, losing focus on cash, skipping idea validation, diluted priorities and vague goals, to name a few.

Cash Flow! According to old man Tim, when you put together a cash flow forecast, you’ll have a solid prediction of what your business’ cash situation will look like in the coming months. This is crucial for future planning so you can make the right decisions that help your business grow. Therefore, positive and negative cash flow will impact your business.

The results of your forecast might make you want to cut corners on costs. In an attempt to save money and keep their company afloat, many entrepreneurs have ended up misspending their funds. Common examples of these detrimental shortcuts include dismissing technology as expensive and unnecessary, and not putting resources into staff development for larger startups. So, you might want to cut corners to get to where you want to be but remember the old adage saying that “Rome was not built by cutting corners!” Or something like that.

So, now it’s safe to say you have a good idea but here’s what you need to know to get your brain child to use its legs to stand out for investors.

  1. First impressions – give it to your audience (possible investor and/or partners) right up front.
  2. Provide analysis, not just data. – understand the competitive landscape of forces at play in order for you to be successful.
  3. Don’t just show your financials, explain your process.
  4. Clearly outline how you’ll use the investment.

Ultimately, the overarching quality of a business plan will be the strength of the business idea. But in order to help a strong concept stand out amongst the numerous ones out there, it is desirable to incorporate the above guidance.

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