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[Word Wise] Pre-Writing Steps to Make Writing a Business Plan Easier
February 21, 2014

Word Wise Newsletter

Copywriting Basics and Writing Techniques to Help You Write Better

Volume 10, Number 4 ... ISSN: 1933-9690

Dear fellow writers,

Welcome back to Word Wise! Once or twice a month, we’ll send you this newsletter packed with practical and useful writing tips and copywriting basics to use whether you’re a marketing professional, nonprofit leader, or copywriting newbie -- to help you write better.

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FEATURE: Pre-Writing Steps to Make Writing a Business Plan Easier

Writing a business plan is a key step when starting your business or nonprofit. Thereafter, it is also a very helpful annual exercise.

But what surprises many leaders most is that putting this document together needn’t be a chore. Before you write one word of your business plan, work through these pre-writing steps. If you do, the process of writing a business plan will be infinitely easier.

Pre-Writing Steps to Writing a Business Plan

Step 1: Know why you’re writing a plan
You’re writing a business plan in order to articulate on paper your organization’s operational elements and financial elements. The process gives you a deeper understanding of how your organization’s structure and funding work hand-in-hand with programming to achieve your mission.

Step 2: Clarify your identity
Focus your organization’s mission. Know who you are and what you do. Keep your vision front and center as you put the document together.

Step 3: Gather data
Gather information, data, and statistics about your cause. Put a procedure in place to collect anecdotal stories about your work. Have all your financial documents and reports together in one place before your begin writing.

Step 4: Identify missing pieces
As you work through your gathered data, you will discover areas that need clarification. A business plan gives you a punch list. It pushes you to process the different elements you need to work through to set up your organization’s infrastructure and put a funding plan into motion.

Step 5: Make a writing plan
Create a strategy to follow to write your plan, including who will write it and a timeline for completion.

After you’ve spent time in these pre-writing steps, then move onto putting together the main elements of a business plan. And check out our Strategic Planning board on Pinterest for more helpful information and tips.

Top Tip to Make Business Plan Writing Easier and Quicker

Business plan writing can seem like an overwhelming undertaking. Yet the good news is this: you probably have a good part of your plan written already, and not even know it.

To make the process go easier and quicker, re-purpose your own content: your identity materials, case statement, and current strategic plan, for instance.

Make sure those documents are up-to-date with your organization’s work. Then use pieces of that content, such as your executive summary or program description, to help put together elements of your business plan. Edit snippets to fit your business plan’s tone and approach.

Re-purposing your own content accomplishes several things.

  • Your content will be current. In the process of reviewing your documents you will update your operations, programming, and evaluation strategies – a considerable advantage when using your business plan to consult with funders, sponsors, potential partners, grantors, volunteers, and beneficiaries.
  • Your language will be consistent. Re-purposing creates clarity in your messaging. By using similar pieces of language throughout your major strategic pieces, your writing becomes consistent.
  • Your time is well-spent. Re-purposing your identity content saves time. It allows you to use your human resources efficiently.
Get more business plan writing tips to make writing a nonprofit business plan easier and quicker.

More about Writing a Business Plan for Nonprofit Organizations

How to Create an Effective Business Plan for Nonprofit Organizations Business Plan Elements: Which Should You Include? Business Plan Writing Tips to Make the Process Easy and Quick Elements of a Nonprofit Strategic Plan

Finally ... A Wise Word


Check out our Inspiring Quotes board on Pinterest for more words of wisdom.

That’s it for now. See you next time!

Good writing matters,

Kathy with Nonprofit Copywriter
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