February 21, 2024
Business Plans and Storytelling



by Debra Schweikowsky | January 2, 2024

Writing your business plan is not a fun task, however it is recommended by the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), lenders, and investors. There are so many reasons to do a business plan including using it as a roadmap for the direction you would like to take for your business, accountability, opportunities, communicating your vision and ideas, and increasing your odds for success.

Including Financials in Your Business Plan

If you are seeking money from a lender or investor, they will request a business plan to assess the risk of the business and know more about your financial position. The lender or investor will want to know the purpose of the loan, how you plan on paying back the loan, a budget, and projections, therefore your business plan should always provide your business idea with clarity, direction, and timelines. They will also make sure to check your five Cs of credit, which include the following:

  • Character
  • Capacity
  • Collateral
  • Capital
  • Condition

Business Plan Outline

Including a marketing plan, an operating plan, goals, and milestones is also very important and beneficial to showcase the steps you will take to keep the business going. Sometimes it is recommended to do an outline with headings/topics for your plan first, then work on the content, and move on to your executive summary last. I usually tell my clients to do what works best for them when writing their story or executive summary.

Story Behind the Business

Besides the financial, marketing, and operating plans, when it comes to business plans, many lenders want to know the story behind the business or the owner of the business. Lenders and investors are looking for a compelling story where they can read about the passion behind the business and why the owner is starting or started their business. This is where you have an opportunity to tell your story in detail. Storytelling has become a valuable part of the business plan or pitch presentation, as it should make your business standout or explain why your business differs from the competition while keeping your reader engaged and letting them know that the business can succeed.

See also  Privacy Protection: Why Ad Tracking Must End

Content to Include in Your Story

When working on explaining your story, you can include how you came up with the idea or business concept, why you wanted to start or grow your business, your expertise in the field or related industry, or if you are starting a new journey, why you will succeed. In addition, you can talk about what challenges or obstacles you faced and how you overcame them or plan on overcoming them. Think of the storytelling portion or executive summary of the business plan as your elevator pitch, as it may be the only opportunity you get. Be confident in your words and let the reader know that you will be successful.

Executive Summary

The narrative of the executive summary should be short, about a paragraph or two, so be concise and include the vision and purpose of the business and your journey. Is there a family legacy or business you want to relaunch or recreate? Maybe a special secret recipe from a loved one? If so, then include the details in your summary. This is your opportunity to convince your audience of the value, benefit, and experience that your business will offer to its customers. Convince the reader that you have a solution to the customer’s problem and explain your reasoning. Include why your business is the best of the best.

Think of the story behind some of the greatest companies and products, can you be one of them? Share your story or journey in your business plan and on your website. If you have not started your business plan, now is a great time to begin, or review and update your current plan as a great storyteller.

See also  Orsted says job cuts won't affect Revolution Wind project

Debra SchweikowskyDebra Schweikowsky

Debra Schweikowsky is a business professional with experience in business management, administration, banking and finance. She was a small business owner with more than 20 years of experience, including being a franchisee. As a business owner, she successfully implemented a variety of revenue enhancement strategies and is results driven. Schweikowsky successfully sold her business by following an established exit strategy. Four years ago, she entered the banking industry and gained a wealth of knowledge in assisting consumers and businesses to meet their financial and borrowing needs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from State University of New York, Empire State College.