P

Writing a Business Plan? 11 Challenges to Overcome

Business planning is one of the most crucial parts of starting a business. Get it right, and you will earn the trust of investors, distributors, suppliers and staff. Get it wrong and your business could face huge problems just getting off the ground.

Starting a business? Entrepreneurs know that dreaming up a business idea is the easy part, it’s making your dreams come to fruition that’s the real challenge. And one of the first steps to taking on that challenge is creating a business plan, a task that can be pretty daunting no matter how great your idea is.

Your business plan is essentially your map to success, it’s an outline of the goals, research and projections you have for your new company so that you can stay on the right track, and is an especially important document to have if you are seeking funding. What is the most difficult part of writing a business plan? Here are 13 challenges you will face writing your business plan.

1. Actually starting it

“The hardest part about writing a business plan is getting it started. Lock yourself in a room, turn off your phone and focus.

2. Filling out your financials

“The most difficult part of writing a business plan is the financial section. It is difficult to project figures on a brand-new business with, possibly, a brand-new concept. There is no roadmap, no one to follow. The best you can do is find a similar company and try to gauge what they are making.

3. Knowing your demographics

The hardest but most important piece is getting your target demographics dialed in properly. You need to know who you will be selling to and how big the market is to estimate with some accuracy how many people you can reach and sell your product or service to.”

4. Planning for tech changes

Predicting the unforeseen technology variables that the future holds is a challenge. Most businesses that started nearly 10 years ago, there was no marketing on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram did not yet exist. Today, these social media platforms play a huge role in business’ marketing strategy and directly affect sales.”

5. Being concise

One of the top challenges is keeping it short and sweet. The more concise and focused a plan is, the more likely business owners are to achieve the goals they have set out for themselves and their business.”

6. Making it interesting

The hardest thing about writing a business plan is being able to tell your story in such a way that people buy into your idea. If you tell a lousy story, people won’t want to invest.”

7. Establishing workable goals

Establishing clear, concise and understandable goals, these goals must also be realistic. When people can’t see the vision of the plan, they won’t take action to pursue the plan. In addition, by having set goals that align with your plan, you have measureable targets to track your progress.”

8. Staying grounded

You need to be honest with yourself. Entrepreneurs are by nature dreamers and optimists and business plans require them to challenge their assumptions about market opportunity, the competition, the value of their product and growth projections. That is where they get caught up in defining an aspirational, but somewhat realistic, business plan.

9. Finding the right amount of flexibility

The hardest thing about writing a business plan is making it flexible enough to allow for change without making it so flexible that it isn’t really a plan. There is a happy medium between these worlds and this is where the most success can be found.

10. Proving that your idea is worth it

Proving monetization is undoubtedly the biggest challenge when it comes to developing business plans. Often, startups will have innovative ideas and a lot of ambition, but not necessarily a budget or the funding to bring their ideas to life. When companies come to us, we always ask [if there is] a need, because need drives business. If there is no need, you won’t be able to succeed with your business plan.” – Kim Connors, director of strategy, Blue Fountain Media

11. Making your plan useful

In my experience, the biggest challenges CEOs face is creating a business plan that can actually be successfully implemented. Many companies create plans, but too often, those plans sit on the shelf with actions not done, targets not met.”