Starting a Business? You Need a Business Plan!
I consult with several startups and most of them ask me if it is important to write a business plan before starting the business. My response is always “YES”.
You could argue that it is not as important as it used to be. However, I feel writing a plan will keep you focused and allow you to stay on track.
4 out of 5 entrepreneurs always ask me to write their plan for them as they do not know how to get started or have the time to write one.
My response has always been “NO” each time.
If you are going to start a business then you should take out the time and write the plan yourself.
This will allow you to understand the business process, strategies to implement, and as you grow changes can be implemented within the plan.
I wrote this article to provide details on why you should write a plan. How it can benefit you in terms of learning, getting investors and partners on board.
To make things easier for business owners I have created a business plan workbook.
This workbook is a comprehensive detailed guide that will hold your hand each step of the way. It will help you to write a focused plan to achieve success.
Financial worksheets like income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow worksheets are also included in the workbook.
Why You Should Write a Business Plan
You need to feel comfortable with why you must go through the exercise of writing a business plan.
If you don’t understand the reasons and benefits it will bring, in all likelihood, you will do a less than adequate job.
It will defeat your purpose before you even start. One thing is for sure, writing a business plan is one of those hoops you must jump through.
The players (investors, customers, suppliers, etc) are simply not going to let you play until you are good enough to be on the team. If you can’t put your plan on paper, then you surely have not thought it through.
Your plan must reflect your ultimate goal. Be honest with yourself upfront.
Do you want to own and manage your business? If so, be prepared to show why you are capable and how you will compensate in the areas that you have no expertise.
We all are not literary geniuses, that is not the point. It is the process, not the writing that counts. If someone else writes the plan, then it is their plan, not yours.
Investors & Business Partners
The investors, even your business partners or shareholders want to see that you know and understand the functional areas of a company.
They want to be sure you have the big picture and will pay attention to the details as well.
Always remember, “People Buy People”. Most products and services cannot be patented. Contrary to popular belief, you can build a better mousetrap but the world will not beat a path to your door. A plan is only as good as the people who implement it.
Investors put more stock in the management than they do the product. That is the sole reason why there is generally more money chasing well-developed ideas than there are ideas chasing money.
You would say these statements are all cliche since they are often heard in the startup world. However, they are true.
Investors know that if your business plan is not done right, you probably will never do anything of substance beyond it.
The business plan you create is uniquely yours. Use your own style. It should be a personal expression as much as a professional document. You should feel free to express yourself and your ideas.
Initially let your words flow freely and naturally from your heart and mind, utilizing your research notes about the business, industry, and experiences.
As mentioned above, I have written a detailed Business Plan Workbook that will give you what you need to demonstrate the credibility and competence of a workable plan.
The confidence and commitment to get through it can only come from you. This worksheet serves as an architect and engineer.
It will help you build a well-designed plan that is structurally sound. You are the builder. What you put into it – the thought, research, facts and figures, and other information are bricks and mortar.
You can get access to this workbook by simply clicking on the button below. Take your business into your own hands and work smart towards success.
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