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This section can also highlight the strengths of your business and focus on what sets your business apart from your competition.[Back to top] If you’re a startup, you may not have much information on your business financials yet.
Proofread: Spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors can jump off the page and turn off lenders and prospective investors, taking their mind off your business and putting it on the mistakes you made.
If writing and editing aren’t your strong suit, you may want to hire a professional business plan writer, copy editor or proofreader.
But you should also address the various risk factors of the business, Allen says.
“The loan officer is definitely going to want to know that you’ve thought through all of the potential risks and that you’ve mitigated those risks in some way,” he says.
“It’s OK to be optimistic if you can justify it,” Allen says.
“In general, you don’t want to stand out in a negative way by being too optimistic.” You want to show that your business can generate strong enough cash flow to cover the regular debt payments on a loan.
Focus on the key elements of your business plan and avoid getting too bogged down by the technical aspects of your business or using too much industry jargon.
You can always put supporting information or other important details in the appendix.
“I always feel like if the person can’t even bother to proofread something that they wrote, how detail-oriented is this person in running their business? Use free resources: SCORE is a nonprofit association that offers a large network of volunteer business mentors and experts who can help you write or edit your business plan. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Development Centers, which provide free business consulting and help with business plan development, can also be a resource.
You can search for a mentor or find a local SCORE chapter for more guidance.