Throughout the month of November we will be running our “SMB blog series.” While SMB traditionally refers to “Small/Medium Business,” here at Volusion it has come to mean something else: “Small Made Big.” This month we will be sharing resources, tips, stats, and inspirations to help you turn your small ecommerce endeavor into something greater- something BIG!
Many small business owners view a business plan as a necessary evil in order to get a bank loan, but Online Business Advisor reminds that it is much more than that.
“A business plan is a living document. That simply means that the words you put on paper have to mean something and they must be defensible. Too many people who write business plans are careless or simply do not place enough importance on the meaning and impact of the words they put on paper… Business plans also should be written annually to support and complement your strategic plan. A business plan is not only a funding document, but a very important road map that details how the business will function over the next year.”
If you already have a business plan in place here are some quick tips on how to improve it:
- Poor Grammar/Spelling
Nothing is more unprofessional than having blatant grammatical errors and spelling mistakes in a formal business document- eliminate these completely.
Don’t give off the tone that you are being forced to make a business plan but feel it’s unnecessary for the success of your business. This type of arrogance can hurt your chances of getting funding initially and can handicap your business moving forward.
- Supporting Documents
Actually prove that your business can be successful using facts and figures- don’t just assume or speculate. Obviously you shouldn’t go overboard with hundreds of pages of supporting documents, but the more you can bolster your business case the better prepared you’ll be to make critical business decisions.
Be as specific as possible to avoid over-generalizations and fuzzy figures. Small mistakes can add up fast and lead your business down the wrong path or mislead investors.
Convey the passion you have for your business. A small business can’t grow into an industry giant if the owners are blasé about it, and investors know it! Time and time again investors say that the most important thing to look for in a start-up is a passionate owner because that is what is going to fuel a business’s success more than any other factor.
There are many pillars of a successful business, and your business plan is definitely one of them! Take the time to do it right and you should find that your company will grow much faster than one without this important document.
-Kate Pierce eCommerce Specialist