3 Tips to Drawing up a Business Plan for your Startup

Starting up a business maybe exciting but it isn’t a piece of cake! You are bound to come across obstacles and problems, and that’s why a drawing up a business plan for your startup is useful, but missing even a few important points could turn it into a confusing puzzle.

Drawing up a Business Plan for your Startup

Big and small businesses need business plans to attract potential investors and keep their team updated. Don’t even think about venturing into the market without a business plan, if you can’t make one then ask a consultant to do so. Stay active and on top of the market game and under no circumstances let yourself slack off.

If you forget to include these key points, then you risk losing investors and turn your business plan into a puzzle with missing pieces. Nobody likes putting together an incomplete puzzle.

Let’s talk about the few things you miss when drawing up a business plan for your startup!

1. “What If” situations

Prepare for the worst and expect for the best. I think it’s obligatory that you draw up some hypothetical “what if” scenarios in the business plan. They should include anticipated problems and possible solutions; this approach will come handy especially when your company hits big money in profits. Here are some standard scenarios:

  1. “What if” one of the co-founder wants to leave? Is he allowed to sell his part of the business to anyone or current partners will be a priority.
  2. “What if” one of the partners dies?
  3. “What if” business needs another round of funding?

You could allow your devilish mind to conjure up hundreds of unfortunate situations. The more solutions you have, the higher the chance of survival for your business. This will make your business tougher and teach your team to be thick skinned.

2. Mind your Language

It’s funny how people forget the vital role language plays in our lives. I’ve seen too many people look past this and sadly they suffered its consequences. You might not think that it plays a huge role in the beginning of your startup, but trust me somewhere down this road you’ll thank me! Once your business starts flowing and you monitor results of capital investment in marketing, you will see why this actually matters.

Write whatever you speak. This means that use the language you use on a daily basis (in your business execution and interactions) on paper and in documents too.

For instance, let’s assume you handle digital marketing and PR separately. If your business plan is titled as “Marketing Plans”, this could be problematic especially when you try to gauge which channel is giving you more returns and which one needs better marketing budget.

So make life easier for yourself and be particular about wording and language. Make things simple and write in the same manner of speaking. Avoid using jargons or terminology that is out of your speaking routine.

Goals other than profits
Another missing piece to this business puzzle is additional goals to the ‘plan’. I’ve seen too many business plans ignore the inclusion of goals. Of course investors love to see sales growth patterns and revenues, but there’s more than just numbers and profitability.

3. What are some of these goals?

  1. Why are you in the market?
  2. How your product will change the way people think?
  3. How your product is making your customers life easier?

These goals will help your team stay focused and diligent. It will serve as a constant reminder to strive for betterment and this vision ensures quality control and talent within the market.

If you add three of these missing pieces to the puzzle, your business plan is complete. Now you’re ready to entertain investment and experience noticeable success in your business.

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Why Wasn’t Your Business Plan Funded?

While there can be so many differences that appear between business managers when they want to create a really effective financial business plan, this does not mean that there is always a guarantee that funding will be found. Many think that once financing was obtained once, something similar is going to appear in the future. This is not always the case. Let’s take a look at why your business plan wasn’t funded.

Financial Business Plan

Expertise in creating financial business plans is the most important factor that has to be taken into account when you want to obtain funding. You have to adapt to the market situations and you need to always take into account what the funders want to invest in at the moment.

In order to successfully obtain funding, you have to prove that the company is prepared for investments. This means that you basically have to prove the fact that you are going to generate a profit for the investors in a given period of time. Knowledge of what the investors want is a necessity.

A Lack Of Competitive Edge

The very first reason why a company is not getting funding is the fact that it does not have a competitive edge in the niche/industry that is chosen. The marketing strategy in this case is not well-created or there is actually a complete lack of a strong strategy. Remember that investors want to see that the company will succeed. If the marketing strategy is not great, how can they see that?

Lack Of Management Experience

Most people think that they just need to show that the business is viable and that the management team and the owner are not going to be analyzed. This is completely incorrect. The business plan needs to highlight the management approach and there is a really strong possibility that the investors are going to want to know as much as possible about past experiences before making a decision.

Unclear Business Strategy

If the business strategy is not clear and there is risk that capital is going to be lost, nobody will want to invest. With this in mind, taking the necessary time to create a really strong business strategy is a necessity even before funding is considered.

Too Many Assumptions

Most of the business plans that are sent in for funding consideration are incredibly optimistic. Assumptions are made and there is no proof that these assumptions are realistic. The assumptions that are made have to be proven. There are stress-tests that are performed and if you do not have realistic assumptions, it will show and the investors are going to walk away.


The bottom line is that you should never treat the situation lightly. If you need funding and you have to look for investors, the most important thing is to be properly prepared for their analysis. The facts that were highlighted above are just the most common. Remember that even one improper assessment can be seen by the investor as a sign that something will go wrong. In the event that you do not have experience in creating business plans for companies that would receive funding, it is a lot better to simply hire someone that has. This drastically increases the possibility of receiving money.

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It is All About Market Niche in the Business Plan

The business plan really is all about the market niche – researching it, understanding its needs, identifying how the needs are best met, and designing products and services that are aligned with the identified customer needs. From page one to the end, the entrepreneur is building a business plan that caters to clearly defined customers.

Business Plan Blues

Sometimes it is challenging to convey what the business has to offer the niche because people concentrate on the product or service rather than the how the products and services are bringing market niche solutions. Startups are building a niche from the ground up, so it is important for the business plan to always stay focused on exactly who the business is serving.

Following are some tips to keep the business plan’s line of sight on the target market.

Precisely Identify What is Being Offered

All clothing retailers sell clothes, but each one has a different customer base. One may sell children’s clothing while another sells haute couture. Obviously the marketing, pricing, and product sourcing will be vastly different for each type of retailer.

In the business plan, the entrepreneur is presenting a picture of the target market. Assume the startup is another clothing retailer. What makes this particular business unique, and who exactly is the business selling to? What is it about the business that makes it different from all the other clothing retailers.

Basically, the important question is: What is the business really selling? Is it comfort for young children? Is it glamour? Each business has a brand which is based on the ultimate purpose of the business. Sure, the clothing retailer sells fashion, but more importantly, the business is selling an image and qualities the target market will appreciate. Capturing in the business plan what is really being sold will present a much clearer picture of the enterprise to readers.

Paint a Picture of the Market Niche

Why does the entrepreneur believe the niche market exists? The business plan should always reflect in-depth market research. Once potential customers are identified, it is wise to conduct a market survey and pinpoint the needs.

The next step is to identify the competitors and discover why the need remains unmet. This process gives businesses critical insight into the niche market and opportunities that may have not been realized yet.

Get Specific About the Market Niche

Small businesses must cater to a limited group of people. That does not mean they should only sell one product, but a good growth strategy is specifically identifying the target market for every product or service sold. It is possible that the business will sell to more than one market niche.

However, going through this process will help the entrepreneur avoid stretching to far during the startup and early operations stage. As market niches are added, it becomes clear that each one needs special marketing, pricing, promotion, customers support, and so on. Products and services can always be added over time as a growth strategy.

The business plan needs to stay focused on the market niche from beginning to end. This will make it much more attractive to investors. Just as importantly, this approach will keep the entrepreneur focused on a path to success.

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Calling all Innovators & Entrepreneurs, we need your help & your green VOTE !!

As with any Irish technology company, we all suffer unique challenges when growing business internationally. As a country we have a small population so we struggle when trying to make as much noise as our International competitors. Even places we assume are tiny states such as Haiti & Togo have twice and three times our population.

Hence we need your help…

One of our company’s, Surface Power HONE which has developed a revolutionary “daylight” powered Nano-heat engine technology is short-listed (final 18 was judged by experts) for the 2Degrees Champions Award –  “Innovation of the Year” which is the world’s leading collaboration platform and service for sustainable business with over 46,500 members from 177 countries. https://www.2degreesnetwork.com/

Surface Power HONE has nearly 7,000 installations of this patented technology over 8 countries to date and it has been kept fairly secretive until recently. The technology was field tested in the West of Ireland & New Zealand as the daylight levels are some of the lowest in the OECD. In short, it replaces the use of oil and gas for heating and cooling with free daylight. Have a look at LIVE customers on our website such as the UK National Health Service running their hospital’s central heating on free “daylight” (sounds mad but true !!)

The next phase of the 2Degrees “Innovation of the Year Awards” is a voting stage which will reduce the final 18 to 5 for the big awards ceremony and we need your help and your vote. 

Although already in the short-list of 18, we are the only Irish Technology company in this shortlist and are up against huge players such as Nestle, General Motors & B&Q.

You can vote for us by clicking the link below to get us into the final 5 and we thank you in advance for that vote. Be sure to tweet it afterwards using the link so we can personally send you a thank you tweet. Go raibh maith agat as do chabhair.

Best Regards, John Quinn, CEO. (Twitter – @johnquinn_irl )

Read our story and VOTE from below.


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