How to Make Your Business Plan Attractive to Prospective Partners What you offer will determine who you attract, from vendors to potential collaborators.
This is part 10 / 10 of Write Your Business Plan: Section 2: Putting Your Business Plan to Work series.
A good business plan can help you attract what are considered good people, from managers and other employees to vendors, suppliers, and partners. It gives people the idea that you have a well-thought-out plan of action, so they have more confidence that you have credibility and feel they are not jumping on board what may soon be a sinking ship. It can also give up-and-comers the idea that you offer training and advancement.
Of course, "good people" is a very subjective term. A person with a great resume, treated poorly by management, is no longer very motivated and likely not to be a "good person." Conversely, a "bad person," based on what you have on paper, may be an excellent hire with some training, trust, and fair treatment.
Related: 12 Reasons You Need a Business Plan
Regardless, what you offer as an entrepreneur will determine whom you will attract. In any economy, good or bad, people want to be treated with respect and are more likely to become part of your team if they see advancement and a corporate culture they can embrace. Therefore, just like dating, you need to present yourself and your business in a way that will give others a positive impression.
What Prospective Partners Want
Business partners are like any other investor, and it would be a rare one who would come on board without some kind of plan. Partners want to know your basic business concept, the market, and your strategy for attacking it; who else is on your team; your financial performance, strengths, and needs are; and what's in it for them. Luckily, these are precisely the same questions a business plan is designed to address, so you're likely to please even a demanding prospective partner by simply showing him or her a well-prepared plan.
The one difference is a plan probably won't contain the details of a partnership agreement. You'll need one of these to spell out the conditions of your partnership, no matter how well you and your prospective partner know, understand, and trust one another. Have an attorney familiar with partnerships help draft the paperwork so you are on the same page from the start and know exactly what is expected of each partner.