How To Present A Business Plan
When looking for finance, the way you present your business plan can make all the difference between having a loan approved or rejected. Here's the right way to present a business plan.
Step 1: Prepare
You've chosen your bank or building society and now you've made an appointment to see the bank's Business Manager. These are the things you will need to have with you.
Your Business Plan, including the calculations on the amount you want to borrow (See VideoJug's How To Make A Business Plan).
A cash flow forecast. The Business Manager will want to know your estimate of what your takings or income is likely to be once you have got your business up and running. Ask your accountant to help you with this.
Any examples or samples you want to show.
Something for making notes.
Assemble all the papers in a smart folder and be sure to take enough copies for everyone present at the meeting. You might want to invite your accountant to come with you, for example. If you do, let the Business Manager know there will be two of you.
Step 2: Rehearse
It's a good idea to rehearse what you're going to say, preferably with a friend or family member. Anticipate, if you can, the sort of questions you're likely to be asked.
Suppose the Manager says they can't possibly lend you the amount you've asked for? Have an amount in mind which is the absolute minimum, and don't go below that.
Step 3: Arrive
Dress appropriately in business dress and arrive about five minutes before the time of your appointment and make yourself known to whoever acts as ‘receptionist' in that branch.
When you're introduced to the Manager, shake hands and sit down when invited, not beforehand. Sit well back in your chair to give you stability.
Step 4: Present
The Manager will probably invite you to open the conversation. You've rehearsed this, so you know what you're going to say. When you mention your Business Plan, hand it to the Manager the right way round - facing him or her. Offer it so that the Manager takes it from you - don't just put it on the desk.
Refer to the appropriate pages as you speak about them, each of you following on your own copy. When you're asked questions, make good eye contact with the Manager. When the Manager is speaking, maintain eye contact and show you're listening by giving the occasional nod. Don't interrupt!
If you've brought an example of your work or a sample, make sure you can both see it and the Manager can touch it, if appropriate. Make notes of any further information the Manager wants, and agree when you should deliver it.
Step 5: The end of the interview
The Manager will probably end the meeting by standing up, or indicating in some other way it's at an end. Don't prolong it. Thank the Manager for his or her time, collect your papers, shake hands and smile, however disappointed or elated you're feeling at that moment. You can let your feelings show once you're outside.