Have you ever noticed that securing funding for your business is a little like trying to win an election? If the recent US presidential election has taught us anything, it’s how important it is to be able to sell yourself to other people and win them over. Here are a few things you need to do in your business plan to secure that much-needed cash injection, that politicians also need to do during their campaigns.
Know Your Market
The first thing you need to do, both as a politician and as a business seeking funding, is to know your target market. Just as a presidential candidate needs to understand the feelings and opinions of the electorate, you need to show an understanding of your target audience. While Donald Trump tapped into feelings of being ignored and the need for change in the people who voted for him, you can use your business plan to explain who your target market is and what they want from a product or service like yours. Plus, when writing your business plan you need to bear in mind what your potential lenders are looking for and understand them as your other audience. Who are they, and what do they need to hear from you in order to help you?
How will you be different to other businesses? What will you offer that nobody else can provide? What is your “Stronger Together” or “Make America Great Again” promise? It’s important that this comes across effectively in your business plan.
Be Trustworthy and Transparent
If people don’t feel like they can trust a politician, they are less likely to vote for them. Similarly, financial providers need to know they can trust you. You can instil this trust by being completely clear about your goals, values and strategy. Just like people need to know who they are voting for, financial providers need to know what they are getting into, and complete transparency is required.
Have A Clear Strategy
People want to see action from those who are in charge. Many may hold the opinion that some politicians are all talk and no action, but to be successful in their role they need to implement lasting change. And to get as far as sitting in the Oval Office or 10 Downing Street, they need to convince the electorate that they know exactly what they will do once they get there.
Similarly, a business plan should show what you are going to achieve, and it needs to be realistic. It’s all very well saying things that people want to hear, but you need to be able to deliver – and to win people over with your business plan, you need to have a clear strategy for how you are going to achieve your goals. This will make you seem more trustworthy and it will portray your business as a viable investment opportunity.
Know Your Numbers
One of the most important parts of a business plan is the financial plan, so it’s essential that you know your numbers. A presidential candidate is unlikely to impress if he or she can’t get their facts and figures right, in the same way that if your finances sound wrong or unrealistic, your business plan will fail to impress lenders.
Have A Great Team
Presidential candidates have a great team of campaign staff members behind them who manage campaigns, help them to strategize, communicate with external parties such as the media, advise on policies, and more. They are far from going it alone. If you’re a new start-up it’s unlikely you’ll be going it alone either, and any professional help you can get in those early days and beyond will aid you in securing funding and growing your business.
Ready to make your bid for Downing Street? We can’t help you rise to political fame, but we can help you to write a winning business plan, so if you’re a start-up or an existing SME needing assistance, we’re excited to hear from you.