10 Red Flags That Every Business Plan Should Avoid

It’s no secret that success in business can be a difficult thing to achieve – especially if you are a new small business owner in the initial stages of the planning process. 

10 Red Flags That Every Business Plan Should Avoid

One of the most important things you can do is to make a proper, detailed plan that highlights your assets, outlines your goals, and predicts the trajectory you see your business taking as you progress through the process. 

This is important for many reasons, and can make or break a business. As such, there are numerous red flags that are best avoided when drafting the perfect business plan – red flags we will explore within this article in more detail. 

What Is A Business Plan? 

A business plan is a document wherein you plan the overall trajectory of your business model, outline the plans that you have, layout your goals and expectations, and make careful predictions pertaining to things like finances and any assistance you might need. 

What Are Business Plans Used For?

First and foremost, a business plan is for your own benefit – essentially acting as the blueprint by which you will design your business. However, following on from that, business plans are also important tools to gain all manner of assistance as you progress through the industry. 

Attaining Loans

Firstly, a decent business plan is often key when it comes to attaining business loans from a bank or financial institution. 

The business plan shows that you are prepared and knowledgeable, and will give the financial institutions confidence in your abilities – thus making you appear more eligible for assistance. 

Attracting Sponsors

As your business progresses, it might also be good for you to attract some sponsors to support your businesses – be it through advertising, or some other method of mutual benefit. 

To attract lucrative sponsors, you need a good business plan to highlight your plan, your goals, and your realistic financial projections for the immediate future. 

Attracting Investors

Just with sponsorships, investors are attracted by knowledge, conscientiousness, and strategy – after all these are what lead to success in business – and if you can properly highlight this to the investors, then you stand a much better chance of getting them on board. 

10 Things To Avoid During Drafting

As mentioned above, business plans are important when it comes to giving a good impression to outside investors, and as such, saying the right thing is incredibly important.

But what exactly should you avoid during the drafting process, and what are the reasons behind this? 

1. Refusing To Make Necessary Changes

If you have any sense at all, you will be sure to get some feedback on your business plan – be it from experienced colleagues, or from business advisors within the field. 

This is an important part of the process, and can help to iron out any glaring errors before you take the plan out to investors. However, if you receive feedback and refuse to even listen or consider it, then you are setting yourself up for failure. 

You need to be open to new ideas, and you also need to discern what feedback is accurate and constructive, and what isn’t. 

2. Setting Yourself Unrealistic Goals

Very few people are going to make a fortune in the first year of business – in fact, it is usually the exact opposite. 

While it is certainly good to be optimistic for the future, this optimism needs to be backed with a sense of logic, and an understanding of what the demands will be within the first 18 months of business. 

These demands should inform your goals, and should be open to change as you get your business moving and (undoubtedly) realize that you might have overestimated. 

3. Spelling Mistakes & Grammatical Errors

This is a relatively simple aspect, but one people often neglect. A business plan is designed to make you appear as competent and prepared as possible – after all, how else are you supposed to inspire confidence in others? 

This is why spelling and grammar should be business plan 101 – making you appear intelligent, conscientious about the details, and that you have actually put in the necessary work when drafting the plan itself. 

4. No Financial Projections

One aspect of the business plan is to create detailed financial projections.

While these are still only projections, they should be supported by some evidence – that is things you need to be true based upon your knowledge of your industry, and similar trajectories that products or business models have taken within the field. 

If people are going to trust you with their money, then they need to see that you can effectively handle and manage your own first. 

5. Lack Of Capital 

If you have no capital at all, you just can’t feasibly start a business – not if you intend to live and eat at the same time – and as such this would be considered an unrealistic business plan, and one that investors and banks would be unwilling or reluctant to attach themselves to. 

6. Undetailed Trajectory

If you do not have a handle – or at least an idea – on where your business is going, then why should anyone else have faith in your plan? 

It really is that simple. 

7. Making False Assumptions

You should also avoid making false claims and assumptions throughout the business plan.

There is a difference between optimism and downright delusion, and likewise you should only make claims based on things you know to be true – such as past proven success in the industry, or a solid business model upon which to predict your own success. 

8. Not Understanding Your Niche

If you do not understand or see the potential of your chosen niche, then how will potential investors, partners, or financial institutions?

10 Red Flags That Every Business Plan Should Avoid (1)

This is the starting point, and also the thing that will keep you afloat once you’re up and running, and as such a failure to understand this is a sign of carelessness, disinterest, or simply a lack of understanding – all of which are not conducive to success. 

9. Underestimating Your Potential

Likewise, you should also be aware of just how far your business idea could go in the long run. While it is important to remain realistic, and to not make outrageous claims pertaining to your business model, you also need to be honest with yourself. 

If you have a good idea, and you have studied it thoroughly, then you need to own that knowledge and use it to attract others to your cause. 

10. Unsustainable Timelines

Lastly, it is important not to overwork yourself, or give yourself unrealistic timelines – especially for the first couple of years. 

You will already be working your hardest, so what benefit would there be for you to make things harder for yourself by implementing unrealistic and unsustainable timelines? 

Final Thoughts

And there we have it, everything you need to know about business plans, and the 10 red flags that you should always avoid during the drafting process. 

So if you are thinking of creating your own business plan, then be sure to avoid these red flags. Something tells me you won’t regret it!

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