The plan is perfect.
You've been dreaming about this idea for years. You've written and edited and updated your business plan more times than you can count. You've got mountains of numbers and solutions and market research ready to go.
You know your idea is a great one.
And the bank says no.
The absolute first lesson of any rejection is that everyone falls down sometimes. Everyone who has succeeded at anything in life has also failed at something in life. We all hear "no" sometimes - that's part of the story.
Still, the piece that separates the winners from the losers is that the winners are willing to pick themselves back up and try again.
This rejection is not the end of the world. You are still holding a business plan you believe in. You've still got all the passion and desire you had before you walked into that meeting.
What can you do now to make sure the next battle isn't a failure?
First, ask for honest feedback. Don't be afraid to ask for specific reasons why they rejected you. It might have nothing to do with your plan at all: the business environment might be wrong, the bank itself might be suffering from some internal issues, and so on. On the other hand, there might be some serious flaws with your plan that you can't see because you're too close to it.
In that same vein, don't argue with that honest feedback. We all have a tendency to be defensive about our dreams and our plans. They're ours in a very intimate way - and thus criticism of those plans and dreams can feel like criticism of ourselves. You must step back from feeling that way. If someone is pointing out a problem in your plan, there likely is a problem with that part of the plan.
Perhaps the problem isn't the exact problem the person is pointing out. It might be that the problem is in your presentation style. Perhaps the problem is in another part of the business plan, affecting things in subtle ways.
Whatever the feedback, use it as a checklist to improve your plans. Take the comments, sit down with them, and re-evaluate your plan with the perspective that the honest feedback is a checklist for improvement.
At the same time, work on yourself. No matter how good you are at presenting your ideas verbally or in written form, there is always room to improve. Join a public speaking group such as Toastmasters. Take a class on technical writing at your local college. Perhaps the problem with your plan is a lack of education - now might be the time to finally chase that MBA.
At the same time, re-invest the resources you had allocated to the business. You might find that the $50,000 you had in the bank for the business might better be served helping you get that MBA. Perhaps now is the time to lock the money into a CD for a while to earn a better return, or invest it in stocks or real estate for the time being.
Whatever you do, don't let yourself or your resources idle. Winners never quit, even when the chips are down.