|Small Business Information|
Age Old Marketing Technique Improves Business Plan Executive Summaries
Every business plan book tells you how the Executive Summary is your opportunity to provide a brief overview of your business plan; capture your readers' attention and imagination; and, summarize the plan's highlights and key selling points.
So, why am I telling you these 3 things when you probably already know them?
Because it's useless advice unless you employ one, not so obvious, age old marketing technique to make these points come alive.
This one technique is the key to the ultimate success of your business plan and its ability to attract potential investors. More importantly, it will help you raise money for your business?potentially a lot of it.
Best of all, it costs nothing to "do" and can save time finding serious investors.
The not so great news is it's rarely found in "business plan" books or on most business plan websites.
It's one thing David Galdstone doesn't tell you how to do in his popular "Venture Capital Handbook."
You won't find it in David E. Gumpert's book, "Burn Your Business Plan."
In fact, the Small Business Administration, Business Plan Pro, and other popular business plan web sites never mention it.
A Wall Street Favorite
This ONE marketing technique is used by the most prestigious investment bankers on Wall Street to raise millions of dollars in equity and debt financing for their clients.
It's how major newspaper publishers trigger the public's curiosity and sell newspapers.
So, what exactly is this powerful marketing technique that single handily can unleash the value in your business plan? It's writing interrupting and engaging headlines.
See, I told you it was simple.
Marketers and news people have always understood how effective, well-written headlines make it easier for readers to scan for information. Through experience and testing, they've learned that the public reads little else when deciding whether or not they are interested. And, I'm telling you that busy investors are no different.
Why Isn't Everybody Using It?
Good question... see, most people providing advice about business plans are lawyers and accountants. People who get marred in legalese and make their money by making things complicated. They also tend to confuse headlines with hype.
The truth is that you can use headlines to provide a more powerful overview of your business plan, capture your readers' attention and imagination, and better summarize the plan's highlights and key selling points -- all the things they say your Executive Summary must do, without resorting to hype.
Moreover, well thought out headlines, when taken collectively, succinctly tell your business plan story. Just by scanning the headlines in your Executive Summary, your readers will be able to know exactly what your business plan is all about and whether or not it fits their investment strategy.
The success of your entire business plan may stand or fall on what is said in the headlines of the plan's individual sections. These headlines must arouse the investor's curiosity and self-interest.
I have seen time and again, cases where business plan writers, both professionals and do-it-yourselfers, struggle writing content for hours, for days-fixing it, polishing it, rearranging it. Yet, when it comes to headlines, they put in no thought or effort, often resorting to the same old "information-less" sub-headings used in every sample business plan or template.
So let me ask you this: What good is all the painstaking work on content if there are no headlines to first stop investors and make them want to read your plan?
How To Give Investors A Reason To Want To Read!
Absent any previous knowledge of your business venture or plan, investors have little else to spark their curiosity and self-interest. In the absence of headlines or the presence of poor ones, the best writers in the world can't write content that will sell the venture. They haven't a chance. Because if the headlines are poor or lacking, the business plan will not be read. And business plans that are not read do not get funded.
Before starting on possible headlines, review the content in your Executive Summary. Somewhere in this content you are likely to find the four or five key selling points of your plan on which to base your headlines -- not the exact words for the headline, but the concept on which your headlines will be based. Now spend all the time you need to get the best headlines possible, then rewrite and polish your content till it flows naturally from headline to headline.
Remember, headlines decide whether or not investors stop a moment and look at your business plan, or even read a little of it. And, headlines that appeal to investors' self-interest, give news, or arouse curiosity in this order are often the most successful headlines.
Go take a look at the Executive Summary in your business plan. Do you use headlines to capture your readers' attention and imagination and better summarize your plan's highlights and key selling points? If not, you're missing a great opportunity. Go ahead, step away from crowd and write headlines that offer investors something they want. When you do, they will take time to read the content in your business plan.
Mike Elia is a chief financial officer and an advisor to venture capitalists and leverage buyout specialists. His business plan ebook "Business Plan Secrets Revealed" shows how to make your business the most appealing investment choice to venture capitalist, bankers, and other business investors. For his free business plan guide click here.
FTC Adding to the Franchise Rule
Last summer the FTC put forth a report and then asked for comments on modifications of the franchise rule. There has been no real significant changes since the 1970's, but lots of opinions and case law along the way. All these complications of rules and the rules proposed today by the Federal Trade Commission do not help franchisors remain efficient or franchisees sell more pizza, hamburgers or donuts.
Competition in the Mobile Car Wash Industry
We have all seen the mobile washing units cruising our city, usually they are trucks, vans or trailer set ups with a water tank and a pressure washer unit aboard. They market their services with flyers and business cards, however most of their business comes from weekly repeats and referrals. Some cities have hundreds of these units going around the city cleaning stuff. You may think what a great business, but like in any business there is a competitive component to the industry, which is not so obvious on first observation.
Perception: What Are Your Patients REALLY Hearing?
Never underestimate the power of perception! Perception plays a major part in what is actually said -vs- how it is heard. And to patients...perception is reality!
Three Ways to Add Leverage to Your Small Business
Remember those drawings from science class of how a lever works?
Small Business - A Thing Worth Doing Is Worth Doing Badly
A thing worth doing is worth doing badly. Yes I know that it should be 'well'. My grandma drummed into me that whatever I did I should do it as well as I possibly could.
Get Out Of The Rut And Back On the Track
Do you sometimes find yourself just going "through the motions" of your business from day to day? Has the excitement gone out of your daily routine?
Mattress Cleaning Business: How To Manual
A Mattress Cleaning Business might be just for you if you have tried everything to contain your allergies, but feel like it is not enough. Instead of just purchasing the equipment to rid your fabric furniture and mattresses of allergens, you can also help others in your community to feel the relief and make a good income at the same time.
Do You Need the Help of a Virtual Assistant?
Running a business, whether large, small or in your home, is full of challenges. Getting the day-to-day tasks completed, e-mail, faxes and telephones answered, bills and statements sent out, reports run, schedule updated, travel arrangements made, marketing pieces and website updated, as well as a plethora of other tasks, can be downright daunting.
Professional House Cleaning - The Dirty Little Secret
Are you tired yet of all the books out there telling you how easy it is to start a house cleaning business? I'm not inferring that all their information is bad, but let's be honest about how "easy" it really is.
Small Business Failure? Nuts!
Pardon my enthusiasm, but a large part of your small business' success is somewhere else. Namely, out among the company's important external audiences.
7 Essentinal Resources for Small Business
So you want to start a business but you don't have a lot of money? Start your business online, and it won't be a problem.
Who Makes the BEST Business Partner
How do you find the best business partners?
How To Select a Franchise
Here are some useful tips on how to select a franchise. When selecting a franchise, carefully consider a number of factors, such as the demand for the products or services, likely competition, the franchisor's background, and the level of support you will receive because like any other investment, purchasing a franchise is a risk. You will do well to consider the following items before selecting a franchise:
Do You Make These 7 Deadly Cash Flow Mistakes?
Managing cash flow is every small business owner's most important function. Avoid these seven deadly mistakes to make sure you aren't creating cash flow problems in your business.
Old Data in Database Marketing Software
Database Problems in Marketing
Preparing to Launch Your Small Business
Small business owners often enter their field with great expectations. Unfortunately, reality strikes shortly afterwards. Here's how you can enter the entrepreneurial battle ground with confidence...
Auto Detailers and Competitive Aspects of Automobile Detailing
There are both fixed and mobile detailers. Consumers often will use either or both during the life of their car. Mobile Detailing is nice because they come to you. Fixed site auto detailers often work in a controlled environment and can produce higher quality work. Due to the competitive aspects fixed site detailers generally will offer pick up and drop of services. Due to costs to run an automotive detailing shop the prices are often a little higher and this gives the advantage to the mobile auto-detailing practitioner.
Small Business Support Equals Survival
Support is critical for your small business survival. You may shy away from the thought of having an advisory board to guide you through your rough spots, but having a group of professionals who are willing to be your sounding board can mean the difference between success and failure.
Awning Cleaning Business Case Study: Entrepreneurship 101
It is most fascinating to study how entrepreneurs spot opportunity in the market place. "My name is Lance Winslow and I am a serial entrepreneur, I admit I am addicted and need help." ..."Hello Lance." Let me explain how I formed one of my companies which became a franchise system in itself and became a module under the umbrella company I had formed many years the prior. I at first saw it as another business to fit into our growing niche of cleaning businesses. It was to be called the Awning Wash Guys. This is an interesting case study in how businesses form and how companies seek, find and exploit opportunity in the market place. Here is the story:
The Advisory Board: A Business Owners Most Valuable Resource
As a company grows, the owner's role begins to change. More and more of the owner's time is spent "in the shop or in the field" handling day-to-day operations rather than focusing on high-level planning and strategic issues.
|home | site map|