A business plan serves a number of purposes and you may have to modify information depending on your target audience.
Tailor your business plan to get bank funding
Your bank will be interested in:
- how the money will be used
- how and when the money will be repaid
- the capacity to grow the business
- what other loan or debt commitments you have
- your credit history
- how the money will be repaid if the business fails
Most lenders operate a credit-scoring system. Make sure you give up-to-date and relevant information.
Find out more about bank finance.
Tailor your business plan for potential investors
Tell potential investors about:
- what you are going to do with the money
- when and how you are going to pay it back
- the expected return on their investment
- their influence on making decisions
- their percentage of the shareholding
- your other sources of funding
- your ability to grow the business
Include a detailed forecast of your profits and cashflow.
Find out more about equity finance.
Tailor your business plan for potential shareholders
Indicate to shareholders:
- the prospects for the share price
- how they may be able to sell their shares
- what dividend they can expect on their shares
- your management's track record
- what say they might have in the business
Demonstrate how they can exit with positive returns within three to five years.
Find out more about company company shares and shareholders.
Many businesses with growth potential fail to raise funds because they lack investment readiness - they do not understand the expectations of investors, cannot turn proposals into attractive opportunities or are unaware of financing sources.
Avoid common business plan mistakes
Common reasons why business plans and loan applications fail include:
- a weak management team
- a flawed marketing plan
- unrealistic forecasts
- incomplete financial history
- poor presentation