There are a lot of moving parts to bring together when you need to write a business plan, and it’s important to work with an in-depth resource that helps you navigate each of them. The structure of the document isn’t the hard part, though. When you have the information at your fingertips and a guide that tells you what lenders look to see delivered in each section, it practically writes itself. The hard part is organizing your approach to the plan so that all the information is right there when your team works out the copy.

Step 1: Credit Assessment and Repair

Each lender that uses credit reports in their loan determination process has a lower limit to the credit rating range they will approve. It’s a little different from lender to lender, but if you query the prospective lenders on your short list, they should be able to tell you what you’re aiming for. Knowing those numbers before running a credit check makes it easier to know if you’re in range. If you’re not, it’s time to get your cash flow in shape so you make payments on time, improving the score. While you’re in repair mode, consider financing with cash advances designed to even out cash flow for businesses like yours. There are asset-based options for almost every business format. It’s also a good idea to ask vendors and utility providers to report timely payments. They usually don’t, but every positive report from any creditor helps your score.

Step 2: Gather Your Resources

You’ll need in depth information about what each of your company’s officers and key division leaders contributes. That’s best collected by interviewing the individuals and hearing their own way of expressing their contribution, not by relying on job descriptions. The extra nuance allows you to show prospective lenders more. You’ll also need your financial documents for income, assets, and cash flow. That includes projections for the next several quarters and emergency projections that demonstrate how much burn time you have in the event that income drops below expenses. All the stuff you need to make a stellar business plan is already in your records, you just need to pull them out. If you have long-term contracts that represent backbone income, it’s a good idea to discuss their details, so you’ll want records of those agreements.

Step 3: Organize Documentation and Resources By Section

The last step sounds simple, but many people overlook it. You need to sort the materials by section, so you know exactly what you need in each part of the plan. Make extra copies of materials used in more than one section, too. This allows you to break out teams to handle individual requirements. This speeds up the writing process and gives you a chance to double-check the information you include in your business plan.