Business Plan – One Size Fits All?

Most “How To” books on writing business plans tell you that you should not “slant” your business plan towards any particular reader. I don’t agree.

A business plan is a communications tool, and Communications 101 teaches that for communication to be effective, you have to use the language of your audience. This is pretty obvious. If you are speaking English and your audience speaks Hungarian, your message will probably not be interpreted very accurately. This is particularly true for business documents, because you may not be present when the reader is reviewing your plan.

If your business plan is written in English and your banker reads English,… no problem? There could be a big problem, because your banker is used to reading documents written in “Banker’s English” and your business plan is written in “Entrepreneur’s English”.

As an entrepreneur, your plan is written with enthusiasm and optimism. The banker is looking at your business plan through lenses tinted with skepticism and pessimism. You are looking ahead at future profits, the lender is looking for potential losses.

Put yourself in the banker’s shoes. Of course, you must be optimistic, but your business plan will be more effective at obtaining financing if it is written from a banker’s perspective.