If you are taking the time and effort to start a business and compile a business plan, you certainly have great enthusiasm for your business idea. In fact, you should be excited and ready to tell everyone how successful this business will be. However, in writing the business plan, you need to rein in some of that enthusiasm and not oversell your ideas.
Overselling can take many forms, and you may not even realize that you’re guilty of doing so until you review the plan or someone else has critiqued it. Below are several common ways in which entrepreneurs oversell in their business plans:
Hype and sales pitches. Save the hype for marketing efforts. For your business plan, you should channel your enthusiasm into documented facts and figures. Avoid writing a sales pitch, using clichés or buzzwords, and making claims such as “we’ll be the best.”
Nothing like it. It is not relevant to your business plan if your idea is new or previously attempted. In fact, there may be good reasons why other entrepreneurs have not tried such ideas before. For your purposes, state the idea and the benefits it brings to the market you are trying to reach.
Exaggerated claims. Investors are rarely sold on any single product or service. Don’t oversell the marketability. In fact, be conservative in your financial and growth estimates.
Information overload. Your business plan needs to detail the business in a readable document. Therefore, determine what information is most significant and focus on that. Your plan does not have to include every little tidbit of information about you, your business, or the market. Be selective.
Repetition. Review your business plan to assure yourself that you are not repeating key points. In the initial draft, you will repeat yourself most likely in an effort to sell your ideas. Edit. And then edit again.
In short, show don’t tell. Demonstrate your idea’s viability by showing an effective manner in which the business will be run and how it will generate money. With confidence, communicate your ideas in a straightforward manner. Use substantiated claims and legitimate sources to present your arguments.