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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

10 Common Business Plan Mistakes

The importance of preparing credible business plans should not be under estimated. However, there are frequent mistakes found in business plans that may have detrimental impacts on the business.

Ten of the common business plan mistakes are:

1. Projections are over ambitious
2. Poor market research into the acceptance of the product/service in the marketplace
3. Timing plans for product/service concept, development, introduction not robust
4. Inadequate skills planned to support proposed business growth
5. Incomplete financial forecasts
6. Financial forecasts do not reflect the plan narrative
7. Insufficient funding forecast for short term and long term business growth
8. Omission of key information
9. The business plan is too long or too short
10. The business owner does not 'own' the plan. The document may be prepared by the accountant but the detail should be understood and supported by the business owner.


Noah Parsons said...

Great post! I'm glad you focused on the issue of financials being incomplete and/or not matching the plan document. This is such a common mistake and so critical to a successful plan.

A few mistakes that I would add to the list are:

- "We have no competition"
- Missing or incomplete cash flow with no accounts payable or receivable.
- Relying on patents as the only means of defending a product or concept.

DAW Consulting Limited said...


Thank you for your comments. Your input is very relevant to the subject matter and enhanced the value of the post.

I agree totally that on many occasions the disconnect between the financials and the narrative is so common, and yet such a basic mistake.

David Willetts