The foremost business plan contest tip you should employ is to make an assessment of the past winners of a given competition that you have set your sights on.
This will help you get an idea of what is desired of the participating contestants and it will also give you a clue as to whom your potential mentors and investors will be. That said and done, you will now need to get focused on those tips that will really help you do well in the contest. Generally speaking, to be a business plan contest winner you have to create a workable business plan and then be able to pitch it in the best manner possible.
The fact that many of the business plan contests that we have around have a predetermined criterion for business plan submissions in terms of number of pages and format really negates the need for a tip other than to stick to the regulations. Most of the regulations are deliberately set to act as the first barrier to trim the participants to a manageable level. Ignoring details like the font type and size will end your contest before it even gets started.
There are a number of business plan contest tips that will serve you well when it comes to the pitching part. First of all you must look, dress and talk the part. You should also make an effort to cut across as an adaptable person and a good listener – your overall impression management must be professional to say the least. Time management is an important business plan contest tip that will come in handy especially during the presentation stage. Participants are normally given a specified time limit to make their presentations before a panel of judges after which they are expected to answer some questions. Wary to make the most of your time, you should be able to summarize your pitch such that it covers everything despite your skipping of some slides.
One final business plan contest tip that ideally captures everything you should do in writing and presenting is that you should aim to be simple and clear and not jargon-laden and complex. Your overall effort should show the judges that you are committed and passionate to the idea and yet very realistic.