The business plan admits the entrepreneur to the investment process. And the plan must be outstanding if it is to win investment funds. Too many entrepreneurs, though, continue to believe that if they build a better mousetrap, the world will beat […]. A compelling plan accurately reflects the viewpoints of your three key constituencies: the market , potential investors , and the producer the entrepreneur or inventor of the new offering. But too many plans are written solely from the perspective of the producer.
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It pays to plan. Entrepreneurs who write business plans are more likely to succeed, according to research. But while this might tempt some entrepreneurs to make writing a plan their very first task, a subsequent study shows that writing a plan first is a really bad idea. It is much better to wait, not to devote too much time to writing the plan, and, crucially, to synchronize the plan with other key startup activities. Entrepreneurs who write business plans are more likely to succeed, according to our research, described in an earlier piece for Harvard Business Review.
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Responding to a request for proposals RFP is pretty straightforward. You describe your company's history, your product or service, its implementation schedule, and the support you'll provide. The one stumbling block is the one section that everyone will read: the executive summary. Thus the executive summary demands a whole different approach to writing than the rest of the proposal, one that balances efficient delivery of key information with a persuasive, well-substantiated pitch.
To fix that, try a six step process: first, identify key stakeholders. Second, identify a specific, very important key stakeholder: your target customer. Third, figure out what these stakeholders want from you.