SCORE Small Business Blog

Planning: What’s New in Business Plans
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New Must Haves for Successful Business Plans

Think there’s nothing new in business plans? Still using a dusty ole’ business plan outline or business plan software created a couple of decades ago?

Well, think again. The business world evolves, and expectations about business plans change too. Sure, you still have to describe your business, competition, market, and the like. But your plan must reflect your understanding of new realities. If you’re looking to raise money, you have to understand how funders are thinking – and analyzing business plans – now.

So what’s new right now in business plans?

As we developed the newest (fifth) edition of Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies, we looked at the key ingredients you must include in today’s business plans:

  • Social media. Potential funders expect to see how you plan to leverage the power of social networking sites – not just the biggies like Facebook and Twitter, but industry and interest-specific sites as well.
  • Going global. It’s easier, faster and cheaper to be a global entrepreneur today. How will you build a business across borders, find new markets, suppliers, partners, contractors?
  • Presentation techniques. Looking for money? Investors now typically want just a few electronic slides to quickly review before looking at your written plan. There are 12 critical slides to send them.
  • Feasibility first! Save time, money and aggravation by doing a quick feasibility analysis before you develop your complete plan (but after your initial research). This edition of Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies now includes a feasibility analysis to increase your chances of success.

Rhonda Abrams, Guest Blogger
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