Article by Business Woman - Jan B. King
B. King currently leads a consulting practice
primarily devoted to helping traditional
publishers, writers, and educators with
content development and curriculum design
for print publications and innovative
web sites. In addition she teaches small
business management topics and writes
and speaks extensively on employee-ownership
and participative management.
Jan B. King> Business Plans article
Top Ten Mistakes made in Business Plans - Jan
Not proving that you have the management
expertise to make it happen.
The quality of your people will lend credibility
to your ideas and even to your financial
projections. If your management team is
not as strong as it could be, join forces
with a great board of advisors.
2. Not demonstrating where your revenue
will come from - what customers pay you
why they pay you.
Dont be too aggressive in setting
revenue projections or you will undermine
3. Not proving that your business model
and long term cost structure is good enough
to make a real profit.
How will your business make money - what
is your margin structure, what are your
4. Not being clear enough in your product
description to allow the reader to quickly
see the need and the niche for this product.
It may seem obvious to you, but not so to
the reader not educated in your business.
5. Not proving that the market opportunity
is big enough to get interested in.
How big is your market now and what will
it look like in 5 years?
6. Not adequately acknowledging your competition.
Investors know that if there is no perceived
competition, there may be no market for
what you are offering. The better you can
describe your competition, the better you
understand your market, and the more likely
you will dominate it.
7. Not writing for the target audience.
Although the core is the same, the plan
should be written for the perspective of
banks, equity investors, and others. Go
as far as you can to tailor each plan to
the audiences specific interests to
show youve done your homework and
know to whom you are talking.
8. Starting with a boring, unenthusiastic
This is the first section to be read, and
if it isnt exciting the rest may never
be seen. Make it fun and be enthusiastic.
It should stand alone and generate interest
for more. It deserves all the thought you
would put into a professionally done promotional
piece for your customers.
9. Poor presentation.
If you have typos and grammatical errors
in your business plan, the reader will assume
the work you do in your business is sloppy
10. Saying too much.
Keep the entire plan to a maximum of 30
pages, with an executive summary of 3 pages
or less. If investors are interested, they
will ask for any other information they
need. Amateurs talk in the business plan
about unimportant details because they dont
know what they should say and what they
shouldnt. Hire a professional editor
to reduce the page count and help you emphasize
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Jan B. King> Business Planning
B. King , views on business and
on publishing have been widely quoted in
Working Woman Magazine, the American Bar
Associations Bar Leader magazine,
Small Business USA, Business Finance, the
Los Angeles Business Journal, and on business
web sites such as webhire.com, office.com,
ybn.com, portera.com. She has also appeared
on Making It! a small business television
program on KTTV Los Angeles, The Economic
Journal, a PBS business program, as well
as on numerous nationally syndicated business
Additional information on the author can
be found at www.janbking.com.
Jan B. King
Business Author &