And now you are ready for your plan.
You’re visualizing success – You just KNOW your enterprise will be up, running and dripping in profits within the first year.In your mind, you’re good to go.Or are you?A business plan is your platform. Launch pad. Foundation. Pick an image – you get the idea. As long as it’s something solid. When you get to the stage of writing your plan – which should be sooner, rather than later – you will need to slow down and become exceptionally anal with the details.Yup, anal. Bordering on the obsessive. Because you can bet your boots that whoever you approach for startup funding (banks, for example) are going to be putting your plan under a high-powered microscope. They have to be accountable to their masters, shareholders, or, in the case of the government…to the government. They want happy statistics. Successes.
If you fail, they’re left with egg on their corporate faces. This is a highly undesirable position for them and they’ll do just about anything to avoid it.
People often reflect that the “banks don’t want to lend any money.”
Actually, that’s not it, and a trip to any Canadian bank’s website will show you a list of business plan downloads and loads of advice about doing it right. Look here for just two:
And be sure to contact the Canada Business Network http://www.canadabusiness.ca,
Doing it right means ferreting down into details that may not have occurred to you. Yet.
The thing is this: start thinking deeply. Keep a pen on your right hand or pop open your laptop and make a list before you begin. Cover your bases and cover your ass.
The local business development bank officer in our town has a book-size list of hopefuls who have walked through the door for help armed with a bright idea and a one-paragraph plan, no money, and lots of enthusiasm.
“When I told them about the legwork involved to move the idea to a tangible plan, they turn white, and then many of them disappeared,” she notes.
You need to demonstrate you’ve walked all the way around your idea, kicked the tires, and put it through every imaginable test before you drive it in to your lender of choice.
In my next blog, I’ll itemize some of the “must-haves” for a good business plan that will help you get taken seriously and get your funding.