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Editing and Finalizing Your Business Plan

Lenders and investors see lots of business plans. You’ll want to make sure your plan gets the attention it deserves by presenting it in the best possible manner. This chapter shows you how.

Decide How to Organize Your Plan

Each business plan has a unique structure that to some degree is determined by the particular business and fundraising needs. Although you’ll be writing a few more short sections in this chapter, you’ll probably want to take a few minutes now to get organized.

Take out all the work you’ve completed so far using this book. Then arrange the various components in the order suggested below for a complete plan or a quick plan, whichever you’ve chosen. (See the Introduction for an explanation of these different methods.) Of course, you can vary the sequence if a different order makes more sense to you

Write Final Portions of Your Plan

Now that you have an overview of what your finished plan will include, it’s time to begin writing the final sections. Every business plan needs a summary, which is covered below. In addition, you may choose to write several short statements that will improve your plan and make it more cohesive. Those optional statements are also covered below.

Write Your Plan Summary

The plan summary introduces and emphasizes the high points of your plan. It includes a statement of the total amount of money you seek. Because the summary is based on the rest of your plan, we’ve waited until now to cover it. Your job is to tell your readers who you are, what you want to do, how much money you need, and how much money you expect to make, all on one page

Personal Goal Statement

You may include a statement of your personal goals. It is a tricky part of your plan, even though it’s a big help to potential backers who don’t know you personally. Your lenders and backers want you to be happy in your new venture since you’ll be likely to work hard at it. However, people who back you will also want to be sure that you’re truly committed to the financial success of your project. For instance, they won’t back a beekeeper who loves bees so much she can’t stand to disturb them by removing honey from the hive.

Create the Appendix

This book covers the primary business building blocks all businesses share. Of necessity, it leaves out any mention of items that are specific to any one business. Yet, in many cases, specific items are critically important to the success or failure of your business. Your job is to decide which items to include in your business plan

For example, suppose that you are establishing a franchise business. You want to include all the information about the franchise you can, including copies of the agreements and any information the franchisor provides you about the operation. Or let’s say you have invented a revolutionary new gadget. You’ll want to include a copy of the patent, patent search, or patent application to support your claims

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