8 Mistakes To Avoid When Writing Your Business Plan

Writing a business plan is one of those things that can seem pretty daunting. If you’ve never done it before, it may be hard to know where to start or what information is even necessary. But don’t worry we’re here to help! Here are some mistakes we see people make all the time when writing their business plans:

5 Things to Avoid for Writing a Business Plan for Your Startup
1. Thoroughly research your target market.
2. Be realistic with financial projections.
3. Clearly define your business’s unique value proposition.
4. Have a well-defined marketing and sales strategy.
5. Seek feedback from experienced mentors or advisors.
6. Customize your business plan to fit your needs.
7. Regularly review and update your business plan.
8. Stay open to making necessary adjustments as you progress.

Lack Of Focus

A business plan is a road map that will help you achieve your goals. It should be written in a way that helps you achieve your personal goals, and it should also help you achieve your financial goals. If you don’t have clear intentions for the future of your business, then it’s hard to know where to start or what steps are necessary to get there.

To write an effective plan, ask yourself: “What do I want my company or product/service to look like in 5 years?” Then ask yourself: “How can I get there?” 

One of the biggest mistakes we see people make when writing their plans is not taking into account their long-term vision for their businesses. Most entrepreneurs tend not to think beyond one year when creating a plan and this short-sightedness can have devastating consequences down the road!

Writing a business plan is crucial for any entrepreneur. Follow our step-by-step guide on How to Write a Business Plan in 9 Simple Steps to ensure your business has a solid foundation.

Trying To Boast Too Much

Don’t try to impress the reader. Be honest with yourself about what you need, not what you wish for.

Don’t show off. If something is impressive to you, then it will be even more impressive if you keep it under wraps and only reveal it when necessary (like in your business plan).

Don’t be too clever or cute with your words: the document should be clear and easy to read not flashy or gimmicky.

Don’t use jargon: no one likes a person who uses language that they don’t understand! If a word isn’t part of the everyday conversation then don’t use it in your business plan unless there’s a really good reason why (e.g., everyone knows what “revenue” means but not everyone knows what “earnings per share” means).

Avoid using big words when simpler ones would suffice; this includes acronyms (words made up from another word by taking away some letters) and abbreviations (words made up from another word by adding letters), 

Both of which should only be used sparingly and correctly throughout any document written for public consumption (e.g., “CEOs should want their companies’ financial reports available online so investors can easily access them anytime anywhere without having trouble reading through hard copies printed on paper stock.”).

Under-Researching The Competition

One of the most important aspects of your business plan is a thorough analysis of the competition, but it’s not as simple as knowing who they are and what they do. 

You need to understand how they’re different from you, what their strengths and weaknesses are, how well they’re positioned in the market and whether there are any opportunities for growth or expansion that you can take advantage of.

It’s easy to jump right into this section without doing any research if you have limited time or resources available. However, ignoring this step will lead to an incomplete picture when it comes time for writing your plan and could hurt your chances of securing funding by making investors think that you lack confidence in what makes your business unique.

When researching competitors, focus on gathering facts instead of opinions or assumptions about their products or services: specifically, look at pricing models (what do different types/sizes cost?), customer base (who buys from them?), and overall financial performance (are they profitable?). 

If possible try contacting some former customers through social media networks like LinkedIn so that they’ll share their experiences with how well these companies fulfilled orders quickly or gave exceptional service after the purchase was complete

Turning your business idea into reality requires careful planning. Learn how to do it right with our article on How Writing a Business Plan Can Turn Your Idea into Reality, and take the first step towards your entrepreneurial dream.

Using Vague (Or No) Numbers

In today’s business world, there are two types of numbers: real ones and make-believe ones. If you’re trying to convince someone that your company is worth investing in or hiring for, you must use actual numbers (the former) to support your assumptions. 

Using real data will help investors determine whether or not they should invest in your business. But how can you use real numbers? Here are some helpful tips:

Use numbers that are relevant to your business. If you’re starting an ice cream shop and need to calculate how many gallons of ice cream to make each year based on the average weather temperature in your city at various times throughout the year and how much revenue those gallons should generate then, by all means, do so! 

However, if it doesn’t make sense for what type of product/service you provide, then don’t include these kinds of calculations (or at least put them off until later).

Failure To Draft A Separate Marketing Plan

You’re writing a business plan. You’ve got the structure down, you’ve sketched out some of the major sections and now you’re ready to start filling in all that glorious detail. But wait! Are you forgetting one crucial component?

Your Marketing Plan

The most common mistake people make when writing their business plans is failing to draft a separate marketing plan. The reason for this oversight is understandable; many entrepreneurs feel that the information from their marketing strategy should already be included in the executive summary or elsewhere within the document itself. 

However, this approach can lead to misunderstandings and confusion about what exactly needs to be done in terms of attracting customers and increasing revenue and it may even result in some key areas being overlooked altogether!

The best way around this issue is by creating an entirely separate document called “Marketing Plan” or “Marketing Strategy” (and yes, these titles are interchangeable). 

The purpose of this document will be twofold: firstly, it will serve as an introduction to how you want your brand identity communicated; secondly, it’ll provide specific steps on how best to achieve those goals through various channels such as social media platforms and online advertising campaigns

Seeking funding for your business? A well-crafted business plan can make all the difference. Find out how in our comprehensive post on Does a Business Plan Help You Get Funding? and boost your chances of securing investment.

Not Considering The Plan’s Audience

It’s important to consider who your audience is. Who will be reading the plan? If it’s a bank, they need to see that you’ve got great financials and solid projections. If it’s an investor, they’ll likely be looking for specific details about your company’s market potential and competitive advantages. 

Your marketing team will want to know how much spending can be allocated toward different media channels (print ads, online ads, etc.). All of these things should be included in the business plan so everyone involved has a good understanding of what they’re working with.

The audience matters because it helps determine what information needs to go into the business plan and how best to present that information so readers understand its significance. For example: if you’re presenting metrics about customer retention or growth rates for investors interested in investing in tech startups but aren’t familiar with these kinds of metrics, then you should probably provide some context for each measure as well as explain why those measures are important at all!

Building a business plan that ensures profitability is essential for any venture. Uncover the secrets with our guide on How to Build a Business Plan That Puts Money in Your Bank Account and set your business on the path to financial success.

Assuming Your Plan Is A One-And-Done Deal

Assume that your business plan will be revised and updated as the business changes, grows, or fails. You can think of it as a living document that needs to reflect current reality. If things are going well, then you’ll want to make sure that your plan reflects those successes and highlights how you’re going to keep them going strong. 

If things aren’t going so smoothly, then it’s important to revise the plan to fix what isn’t working and improve upon what is already working well.

Another mistake many people make when writing their business plans is assuming they’re done once they’ve finished writing the first draft. 

This is especially true for entrepreneurs who are just starting in their companies; if a person hasn’t been through this process before or even if she has she may have trouble knowing where all of her ideas should go when she first starts creating her plan. 

Some people also feel overwhelmed by all of the information they need (and often don’t know) before beginning this process; this can lead them toward procrastination instead of getting started on what will be a very valuable exercise!

There are plenty of reasons why every aspiring entrepreneur should write a business plan. Check out our article on 9 Reasons Why You Should Write a Business Plan to discover the benefits and advantages it can bring to your startup journey.


By avoiding these mistakes, you’ll be able to put together a solid plan. Remember, the key to a good plan is writing it with your audience in mind and keeping them in mind at every step along the way. Don’t let yourself get derailed by all the noise out there just keep your eyes on what matters: making sure that your business succeeds!

Further Reading

Seven Common Business Plan Mistakes: Learn about the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make when writing their business plans and how to avoid them.

Avoid These Business Plan Mistakes: Discover essential tips and advice on steering clear of critical business plan mistakes that could hinder your success.

Common Mistakes in Business Planning: Get insights into the typical errors made during business planning and find out how to overcome them.


What are the key elements of a successful business plan?

A successful business plan should include a clear executive summary, a detailed market analysis, a comprehensive financial forecast, and a well-defined marketing and sales strategy.

How do I avoid common business plan mistakes?

To avoid common business plan mistakes, thoroughly research your target market, be realistic with your financial projections, and seek feedback from experienced mentors or advisors.

Can I use a template for my business plan?

Yes, using a business plan template can be a helpful starting point, but make sure to customize it to fit your specific business needs and goals.

Is it essential to have a business plan for a small business?

Yes, having a business plan is essential for any business, regardless of size. It provides a roadmap for your business’s growth and helps secure funding and investment.

What should I do if my business plan is not working as expected?

If your business plan is not yielding the desired results, reevaluate your strategies, identify areas for improvement, and be open to making necessary adjustments to achieve your goals.