There it is. That blank screen with the little blinking line. And everything sounds so mundane.
Jake’s Bakery will serve the best cakes in the county. (Yawn.)
I researched the industry and found that it is fail-proof. (Yawn.)
We came together to form a really good business. (Yawn.)
It’s kind of like, “Hey, what’s your sign?” Everybody knows why everybody is here, but can’t I come up with a better opening line?
Even the most prolific writers get blank screen-itis. To help you get back on your pizazzing path, here are some places to look for inspiration for your business plan.
- Your competitors’ websites. Seriously. Somebody put a great deal of time and effort into those websites. What do the headlines say? Is there a neat turn of phrase that you can turn again into your business plan concept?
- Industry ads. Who better to put on your side that Madison Avenue advertising executives? Real pros have been at work here. They have had to distill major ideas into a few lines, a few catchy phrases. Study your industry publications for jewels that you can pick off their pages.
- Your own “Eureka!” moment. When was it that you knew, you just knew that the business was going to be a reality? When was the moment that you really caught the energy of the idea? Capture that moment and put it into print. It just might capture an investor or two, as well.
- A video of your favorite comic. There may not be any good lines you can use, but you will be amazed how laughter releases your creative nature.
- Blindly typing. A friend swears this works, although I haven’t used it successfully. Close your eyes, or just turn off the monitor on your computer. Then start typing. Type for about ten minutes, anything and everything you can think of about your business. After ten minutes, look at it. What is it in the stuff that you wrote that you felt was so important that you just had to get it down in writing? If it was that important, odds are you’ve found your key idea.
- Tell a story. Grab your favorite aunt or uncle, or just imagine them, and tell them the “story” of your business. What you tell them is probably what you need to tell the investor as well.
- Skip the introduction. Sometimes the first part is better written last. Go to the biographicals or the industry information, or the financials. Go where you feel the strongest pull. The area that has the greatest pull is probably the area that you need to promote the most anyway.
- Meditate. For those adept at visual meditation, visualize the finished business plan in front of you. Open it up and see what’s there. (I wouldn’t recommend this for beginning meditation practitioners.)
- Shift into disaster mode. Imagine that a disaster of some sort is about to strike, a hurricane or an earthquake perhaps. If you could save only one piece of your business, what would you save? If it’s your patent, then that is probably the most important part. If it’s your Director of Marketing, well, so be it. Whatever it is, decide why that piece is so important – this may be what your introduction should focus on.
There is no right way or wrong way to start. There is only your way. Each and every business plan discovers its own written path. Yours is there too.