I’m generally not a great fan of business plan competitions, for two reasons. First, they can consume huge amounts of time often with little benefit to those who don’t win. And, unfortunately, lately they have become more about the “pitch” and less about quality research and business competitiveness.
Actual success in the marketplace won’t be determined by flashy slides and smooth talking, but by the depth of understanding of your target customers and your competitive environment.
That said, competitions are popular, and working on how to describe your business in a clear and compelling manner won’t be a waste of time. And, well, you might win some good advice, and even (for a tiny number of contestants) some dollars, too. Just keep your eyes open before you enter into one, so you know what they’ll be judging and how much time it will take.
Here’s a very recent (today, actually), blog entitled “40 Prestigious Business Plan Competitions Every Entrepreneur Should Know About.” It’s a great place to start if you think a business plan competition is the right thing for you.
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For more resources, see our Library topic Business Planning.