Copy Paste is fast and good… except in Business Plans.

Writing Business Plans is a lot of type work for the writer, but it’s also a lot of read work for the coach and analyser. So really, even if you are a little sick of coming up with new super-duper selling sentences, you do not want to bore the person reading it. Ever. Full Stop.

Now most of you might say: Well, duh, what do you think I am trying to do here? But really I gotta say this: One easy step to protect your reader from feeling like he is wasting his time is: DO NOT COPY-PASTE. EVER.

I have read exiting first pages of Business Plans, but as I went along I found that all the five or six paragraphs written in the Executive Summary were re-used exactly on other pages throughout the document. And even if I know the idea is great and the person has put effort in it: I can’t help but feel like I am wasting my time reading it all, if really it brings no new information to the table. I wonder if there was enough respect towards the reader, if the writer had actually ment it and is seriously trying to sell me his idea. I spend many hours on every business plan I review and I give detailed feedbacks to all the teams I coach, so this feeling can really break it.

The first page of your business proposal is what really gets your reader going, believing in the idea and wanting to read on. This why the Executive Summary needs to be the ultimate Sales Proposition in great, yet easy sentences, and it needs to lead the reader not only through idea and how to work it out, but also quickly through the team, the time frame and the needed investment. This isn’t easy, of course, and will take some time. If in the end you are really happy with the turn out and proud of the summary you have created, that is great, but don’t be tempted to go back to the other content to replace “not so super-duper” paragraphs in the various section with a paragraph from the executive summary.

You might have noticed that I said “go back”. And yes, that’s right. You should write your entire Business Plan first, control and check the numbers, review the spelling and bring the writing up the best-you-can-do.
Only then start the Executive Summary where you put together all you have learned about your idea and your plans for your start-up. Make it even better than what you had written so far. I know you can do it, because you are believing in your idea (otherwise you’d have given up on the other parts ;).

This way you can really make the reader believe in you and he or she will feel that someone really put effort in the plan and wants to get their opinion or will handle their money well if they invest. And if you think about it: Not copy pasting is not too much to ask, is it? 🙂