7 Ways to Smile Yourself To a Better Business Plan

I have a client that is a brilliant problem solver. He is a Macgyver of business problems. But when it comes to his emails, memos or letters it begins to look a little jumbled with misspellings and incorrect word choices. He figures he will get back to it later but that takes too long so he hits send and away it goes.

I have another client who thinks in pictures…when he is describing something to you it is always a story. He is a modern day Aesop.

Boy, keep those guys away from a business plan! Or not!

Your business plan needs to reflect you and your personality.

Yes, correct the spelling and grammar to make it easier for the receiver but do let your smile shine through.

Here are seven hints, tactics or ideas to help you:

Use Photographs – if a picture tells a thousand words, use plenty of them and go easy on the text. Let your pictures tell a big part of your story.

Use PowerPoint – though PowerPoint can be passe in center circles we predict that your lenders will appreciate it if you use it to tell your tale.

Avoid jargon and acronyms – they ‘be cool’ with your industry geek buddies but ease up on them for the rest of us.

Picture this – use picture words to tell your story. Let us feel why Mrs. Smith needs to hire your new computer tracking service to keep track of her hubby! Use these pictures in the words that you use: change the lemon into a golden lemon from sunny Napoli – if you want more impact.

Easy on the prose: Yes I read (and wrote number 4) – but small does go a long way.

Graphs are keen: When dealing with numbers use their picture cousins – graphs in all their forms help tell the story

Picture the ending as you are telling the story and do not be scared to repeat it….in the introduction….a little more in the executive summary and in all its glorious sun-soaked splendor in the conclusion. Be consistent but more flavorful as you go along.

Bonus point: some of the best business plans that we have seen were done on the back of those restaurant place mat napkins. Ensure that you go to a restaurant those uses those.

PS for really big deals go to a restaurant that uses paper table clothes – now you can really sketch out your deal!

Smile!