Making business planning mistakes or errors will instantly change the effect your business pitch is having, so avoiding simple errors is just as important as any other element to give yourself the best chances for success. Here are a few common pitfalls to avoid:
Trying to please everyone at once
If you have a business plan that tries to be everything at once without solving a specific problem for a specific industry, this could be an indication that you are spreading yourself too thinly without the proper focus that a growing business needs to prosper. Whether you are describing sales targets or target demographics, try to highlighted who you are targeting, and why.
Bad presentation and preparation
Although this may seem obvious, the number of business plans out there with spelling and grammar errors is higher than you think. It’s surprisingly easy for even the best-written plans out there to have glaring spelling errors that would leave any presenter mortified. The best way of avoiding this is to ask a friend or colleague to proof read the piece from start to finish. Even if the writing is perfect, delivering a sloppy, nervous or inconsistent pitch will raise a few eyebrows in the room. If you aren’t confident in the plan, why would they be? Little things such as inconsistent formatting, incorrect labelling of graphs, and wrong use of terminology or strange structures can all have a negative effect on the overall presentation.
Forgetting who you are pitching to
Chances are that you have been working on this business plan for a while and may have even presented it to someone else in the past. One of the worst things you can do is forget to change or tweak certain details that are specific to your audience. If your audience thinks for one moment that you are taking your plan from place to place and it’s not relevant to them, your chances for success will take a hit.
Impossible goals and aspirations
Is always good to have goals to aim for with great ambition for success, but going overboard with your aspirations will end up alienating your audience. There’s nothing wrong with having high targets but once you start getting carried away with impossible goals or income predictions your credibility will soon take a steep dive.
There’s no actual plan
The best business plans present a detailed overview of the business in both the short and long terms, but doesn’t just stop there. People need to show how the business moves between these stages and what actions will catalyse this movement. Simply outlining the business goals and positioning is not enough; there needs to be a coherent and structured narrative.
There’s simply no excuse not to be fully informed about your target marketplace. By using the Business & IP Centre you can ensure your business plan does not contain any glaring holes in relation to competitors and the market as a whole. Our workshop ‘How do I research a business idea?’ is ideal for business start-ups looking to develop a strategy for identifying the information that will help make your business idea a reality. Visit our events page to view our upcoming events.