Question: A business plan only helps you run your business?
Answer: Wrong! While this may be true, it's largely incorrect. Business plans are incredible tools that are mainly used by funders. If you need guidance, please consult a coach or business advisor. Having an effective business plan is crucial for successfully locking in an investor/funder. The business plan stage is very much game time and just like in basketball, you can shoot for the hoop multiple times, meaning, this document can and should evolve and be presented many times.
If you’ve found the grant or funding opportunity that’s right for you and you’re tired of procrastinating on the business plan or pitch deck, it’s important you go back to the basics.
Would-be investors and lenders want to know what they are getting themselves into. Just as you would want to know if we were on that side of the table! Get a professional to help you write your business plan. It’s an investment in your business, and a good business plan writer can be like having an in-house business development, operations manager, and marketing department!
Here’s some tips:
1. Keep it brief.
2. Keep it customized. Just like you shouldn’t BCC all employers, don't use the same business plan for every opportunity.
3. Lay the foundations for a bright future. Community involvement, Future B-Corp status, and more.
4. Go over your financial plan and hire a business plan writer if need be. Make sure you source all relevant quotes and costs from vendors.
Here are some of the opportunities that require a business plan or pitch deck and have specific requirements:
1. Small business export, R&D Grants, IRAP Technology Grants.
- Film grants - Telefilm, CMF, etc.
Venture Capital - government EBQ
Here’s what a business plan should do for you:
1. Secure Funding.
Whether this is grants, loans (Futurpreneur, BDC, Women’s Centre), private capital/investors, or other. The document should convey to them why, and how they can invest in practical terms.
If you aren’t at that stage yet, depending on your corporation’s size as a startup, this document initially can set you up properly to be in a position to accept capital first, ie - do you need to obtain eligible business corporation status first with the government to accept venture capital? This requires a business plan document in a particular format for them to analyze.
2. Persuade Investors to Help You Fund Your Project.
With a good plan in place, they will be inclined to help you find funders, and partners if they can’t help you themselves.
3. Setup and Solidify Potential Partnerships.
Do you want to work with a particular company? Non profit? Have a presence at a trade show? It’s surprising what putting this on paper can lead to - who knows who might read this plan, and help you to make it happen! It's also good to lay down community intentions at an early stage, in case you hope to apply for B-Corp status later on! BDC
Bolster and Help Any Visa Applications.
Expanding to the US under an E2/EB5 investor visa?
Expanding to Canada?
Or do you want for staff to work with you in Canada under the ICT Visa from overseas?
A government compliant business plan, fulfilling all requirements is necessary, and will make or break your case, and your ability to hit those profit goals. While we are not immigration consultants, we recommend you work closely with them when writing your business plan!
5. Help Protect you From Legal Issues.
When a business plan is combined with a partnership agreement, hiring plan, digital marketing growth plans, or other legal documents, it paints a sharper picture of one’s intention, as opposed to leaving items up for assumptions, uncertainty.
7. Give you entry into a group of entrepreneurs who seek to do business with each other.
Additional Non-Monetary Goodies!
A business plan can also help you generate content such as videos, podcasts, articles, web design and more! We love it when a business plan obtains #1-#4. EG they obtain funding, the desired visa, and then now need help hiring web designers and videographers. Guess what? The business plan was the roadmap for all this. We often work with third parties like the good folks at Good Commerce, early during the planning stage to plant the seeds for how a corporation wants to grow.
Remember, all of these activities take wo/man power, and thus a LOT of planning and budgeting early on. It’s best to have that in place to plan potential contractors/partners, and even your intention and goals quarter by quarter. Marketing takes time, and when it’s documented in the business plan, this builds trust, and goodwill for investors. Because remember, plans become reality.
7. Build Your Dream Team.
Finally, having the business plan and working with a business plan writer will give you the brain space to do what you actually want to do! Run the company and be your best brilliant self!
Creating the perfect business plan for your business can be daunting but it doesn’t have to be! Get in touch and unlock your money making potential!
Contact us to give your business a kickstart to the next level!