Writing a business plan for college: The key points to pay attention to
If you are an MBA student, there is no question that you will eventually be required to construct and write out a business plan for your professor. Writing a business plan is easy, but writing one that will reach the level your professor requires for a top grade is another matter entirely. The best way to get the absolute highest scores possible, and more importantly, prepare you for the real world, is to treat the assignment as though it were the real thing.
But writing a professional level business plan is not simple. It’s definitely one of the more difficult writing assignments college students are faced with. However, if you follow the tips we have for you here, you can get that much closer to constructing a professional grade business plan, and getting that top mark you deserve.
Note that these tips are about the content and execution of your business plan, not the exact structure, which we certainly don’t have room to fit here. Don’t worry; we’ll link you to some great structure examples later on.
Fact over Form and Facts for every Statement
The first, and definitely most vital, thing to consider is that execution is actually secondary to content when creating a good business plan. This is not to say that your business plan doesn’t need to look good, but if the information in the plan is flawed or exaggerated than all the proper execution in the world won’t make it any better.
Facts are without a doubt the most important part of your business plan because business is all about facts. Anyone can make a claim; but if you can’t support that claim with evidence, it doesn’t mean anything. As far as your business plan is concerned, don’t write down anything you can’t back up with evidence of some sort. Exaggeration, optimism, polish, leaves it all out if it isn’t grounded in reality. It is especially critical that you avoid rumors and assumptions at all costs.
Realism, not Optimism
Sure, optimism isn’t a bad thing, but when it comes to business, optimism is hard to trust. How often do you believe a salesman when they tell you their product is so incredible that it will solve all of your problems? It’s important to be as realistic as possible when it comes to any predictions or estimations you make within your business plan.
This is especially true when it comes to time, resources, and investment. If you are required to give an estimate on how long something will take, always take the side of caution rather than optimism. The same is true of any estimation you are required to make with anything else. Providing reasonable, believable estimations lends credence to your business plan, showing that you have a firm grasp on the fact that many obstacles or delays could occur in the future, regardless of how prepared you are. Investors, or in this case, your professor, is more likely to put stock in your estimations if they are within a reasonable range as opposed to an absurdly optimistic one.
Stick to the Point, Avoid High Praise
You’ll recall that we said the content was more important than form. However, you might also recall that we said form is still pretty important, providing you get your facts straight. One of the most important things about writing in business is conciseness. When reading a business plan, people might want facts, but they want those facts fast. Droning on and on, dragging out points that could very easily be made with fewer sentences, is definitely something to avoid. Even if there’s a word count that your assignment must reach, don’t try and bridge the gap with ‘filler.’ Chances are, if you put everything in your business plan that you are supposed to, you’ll have more than enough to write about even if you keep it brief and to the point.
As for how you write out these many facts you need to put in, we’ll refer back to the aforementioned ‘realism over optimism’. When talking about your business, your product, or your estimations, be sure to avoid words that sound over the top. Words like ‘amazing,’ ‘incredible,’ and ‘fantastic’ are things to avoid. If you want your business plan to be professional, it needs to sound professional, on top of being actually well-crafted. Business is one of the few fields where you actually want to come across as almost pessimistic, where you take the least favorable outcomes into consideration, and even consider them the most likely thing occur.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you are trying to make your plan sound foolhardy. You still want to come across as knowing what you are doing, and knowing that you can achieve success. You just want that success to be reasonable.
The Actual Structure
We don’t have nearly enough time to cover how you should actually structure your business plan, but that is of course important. Here are a few links to great examples of how to properly structure your business plan, as well as all sorts of other useful info:
Outside Academic Writing Assistance
You should generally try to complete your assignments for the experience you get from doing so, but that isn’t always in the cards. If you just don’t have the time or energy to complete a lengthy assignment, you can always get outside 24/7 help from a professional academic writing service, which offers affordable, quality assistance in writing assignments of any type.