How to write a better business plan: 10 Quick Tips

There comes a time when most people starting or developing a business, even a small one, need to write a business plan to secure funding, to establish credibility with stakeholders, to guide the business along its journey, and more.

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My own experience here is limited (although I often get asked to help clients write the marketing section for their plan) so here is a short curation of authoritative (free to view) pieces on how to do it properly … and get that beloved bank loan, kudos and structure that you need.

10 excellent pieces of advice to help you write a better business plan

1. The UK Government. No, I’m not joking. In recent times many people have been smiling with surprise at the Gov.UK website, because it’s actually very well written with lots of clear, useful advice and guidance. On this page you are signposted to various associated sites for details as well as a range of templates you can use as a basis for your own plan. Good job, Gov.UK.

2. HSBC Bank. Various retail banks offer advice on how to put a business plan together but the one that seems the most thorough without being patronising is this one.

3. Young Entrepreneurs Forum. There are many videos on YouTube on how to write a business plan, ranging from the complex to those aimed at 6-year-olds, as far as I can see. I like this one (international but based in India, I believe) because not only does it tell you how to go about writing a business plan, but also why you should: it sets the plan in the context of your whole business story, and how to use it over time – not just to raise funding. Here it is…

4. The US Small Business Administration. Another government website and this one is very, well, business-like, but it’s thorough. Given that all new businesses and many developing business are small anyway, the fact that the advice is given by the SBA is probably immaterial!

5. MOO.com. Although this is a commercial organisation, I like their advice because it’s written in a casual, me-to-you style with some humour thrown in (always works for me!) It also gives advice on the style and tone of voice for your writing in a business plan, which many of the others don’t. I bow to superior knowledge here…

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For more information and advice on writing for business, check out this category here on HTWB.
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6. Small Business BC (Canada). Useful advice if you are Canada, as it includes links to a number of other useful sites within Canada that you will probably find helpful when you’re writing your business plan.

7. BPlans.com. This article is specifically on how to write a business plan for a nonprofit organisation. Very thorough. Once again a commercial website so eventually you get to a bit of sell for their business plan software, but they don’t shove it down your throat.

8. Third Sector (UK). This covers the same area as nonprofits in #7 above, but what I found useful is that it explains how and why business plans for charities and nonprofits must differ from those for commercial/trading businesses. Well worth reading before or after you read #7.

HTWB 10 tips logo9. Australian Government. Another very good chunk of advice written in plain English (they must be competing with the Pommies on which government is better at nixing pompous jargon and writing for real people…) They also offer a free template, guide and an App.

10. WinGlobal Partners (Canada). This seems to be quite a comprehensive source of advice if you want to write a business plan for international / export trading. Once again it’s a commercial website so there are lots of things you can buy, but there are quite a few free downloads on offer that may be of interest to you.

What advice can you share on how to write a better business plan?

Would love to know your thoughts!

 

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  1. Businessplan says:

    […] Here’s a blog with 10 Tips, websites, resources for your business plan. Use the one that works for you: https://howtowritebetter.net/how-to-write-a-business-plan-2/ […]

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