How to Write a Loan-Worthy Business Plan
Writing a solid business plan is the most crucial step in getting approved for the loan that your start-up or expanding business may desperately need. Following certain guidelines will make sure that you get noticed by lenders and can secure the loan you are applying for to take your business to the next level.
The Importance of a Strong Executive Summary
The executive summary is in some ways the single most important section of your entire plan. This is where you get to summarize who you are, what you do and how well you do it. It is where you introduce your company to the lender and highlight key financial achievements or projections. The executive summary is also where you can let potential lenders know exactly what your goals are and what to take into consideration when deciding whether or not to approve you for the loan. A busy lender may not read any further than this, so this is your one shot to make a strong first impression.
Don’t Guess, Do Your Homework
There will inevitably be a little guesswork involved in creating your business plan. However, even your guessing should be based on sound research and analysis. When making projections about your market share or financial targets, it’s imperative that you can back it up with data supporting your claims. You can’t just say that you’ll make a $100,000 profit the first year, you need to do your research and show them exactly what market conditions and previous figures you’re basing that prediction on. And remember, these projections are crucial in creating your overall strategy and budget, so failing to do your homework could hurt you down the line.
Get a Second Opinion
Before sending your business plan to the lender or financial institution, it’s a good idea to have someone else take a look at it. If you know someone that is trustworthy and knowledgeable in the subject, they can see the things you may have missed and make sure that your plan is as clear to readers as it is to you. If you can find someone that is not connected to the business, that’s even better. Remember, these lenders know nothing about you or your business, so it’s important that everything is clearly outlined and easy to understand.
No matter how great your business is, without a solid business plan your chances of getting the loan you need are slim. Take the time to prepare adequately and make sure that your goals are clearly stated, and you’ll be one giant leap closer to financing your business.