Common business plan mistakes

A new Chicago start-up company usually won't succeed unless the founders write a detailed business plan. Such a document can be used as a road map to keep an operation on course, and it can also be used to attract investors, partners and key hires. While a strong business plan can be very helpful for a new company, a poorly written one can end up hurting a venture.

One of the most common mistakes that new owners make when they write a business plan is that they forget to address cash flow. The concept of cash flow is how much cash a business is able to access on a typical day. Even if a business looks profitable on paper, cash flow problems can arise when customers don't pay their bills on time or unexpected expenses arise.

Another mistake that owners make is that they fail to set specific goals. A vague phrase like 'significant growth in the first year" is not specific enough to motivate people. Owners should conduct a careful analysis of their company's growth potential and then set goals that are both specific and realistic.

Many budding entrepreneurs include too many goals in their business plan. A list of dozens of priorities should be filtered down and then ranked in order of importance. An attorney who has experience in advising business start-ups can be of assistance in this regard. The attorney may also suggest that a comprehensive business plan should have a section regarding the regulatory compliance issues that the new venture will likely have to face and how they will be addressed.

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