Don’t even bother applying for a loan or grant without a business plan.  A business plan is an essential tool in your sales pitch, and an opportunity to communicate effectively who, what, where, when and how about your business.

The banks and grant offices need to see a business plan.  Convincing a bank or credit union to loan you money or asking the government to issue you a grant, is asking them to invest in your business and your ideas, which cannot happen unless you paint a complete picture of your business.

A business plan is critical to have, and you should spend the majority of your time on this part of the application, more than on any other.  Loans Grants Business PlanWe cannot stress how important this is! But before you go into overwhelm at the thought, remember that a business plan is a work in progress. Find a template and work on it patiently for several hours, until you have at least a complete skeleton with something written in all the fields.

Warning: Attorneys and other professionals offering to write your business plan charge an obscene amount of money for something you can relatively easily do yourself. Don’t focus on complex spreadsheets, focus on what is your passion and how your custimers will benefit from it.

Before looking at your business plan, lenders will want to see your Executive Summary, which should be written by someone other than yourself, since you are so subjective it will be difficult for you to write it.  If they like your Executive Summary they will then request your business plan.  The Executive Summary should be 2 pages at the most. Start working on this now, and work on it parallell to the business plan.

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