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In a hurry to create a business plan, a lot of novice entrepreneurs end up drafting a subpar plan full of gaps. But instead of changing them, most just stick with their initial plan. As a result, they end up failing to scale their business even as they follow it to the letter. If this sounds familiar, here are three reasons why your business plan might be failing you:

Lack of Research

Most business plans lack the in-depth research needed to identify key issues, objectives, and steps to take. Instead, many are inundated with irrelevant statistics, outdated practices, and ineffective strategies that fail to get them anywhere. Spend more time researching your product and market than you do actually writing the plan up. You need to know your market inside out as well as your target audience. Read books, online articles, and talk to your intended customer.

Failure to Identify the Purpose of Your Plan

Your business plan is meant to outline the nature of your enterprise, sales and marketing tactics, and your cash flow. It should be seen as a roadmap that offers guidance when an entrepreneur is at a crossroad or does not know how to proceed next. But your business plan must also adapt if you’re looking for investors to fund your future operations. If that’s the case, your business plan must target these investors and emphasize on data points and metrics that help them put a value on your business.

Lack of Key Data Points

As mentioned earlier, most business plans have multiple gaps that entrepreneurs fail to cover. Beyond the common expenses, anticipated revenue and profits, and cost per customer, many entrepreneurs are oblivious to other factors that must be covered by a business plan. This includes how a business should vest, main objectives, mission statement, industry and market analysis, core strategies, etcetera. Luckily, there is a plethora of statistical data to support assumptions and to fill these gaps.

The lack of a real plan can cripple your business. Make sure your plan has a purpose, covers all the bases, and is backed up by solid industry research. In addition, make sure your business plan can adapt to new changes, such as new market policies, consumer behaviors, and competitors.