You’ve heard how important it is. You’ve been told that your business will be more likely to succeed with a business plan, and you keep hearing that it’s practically impossible to secure financing without one.
But that doesn’t make it any less intimidating to write, does it? The prospect of doing all of the necessary research, analysis, and data organization to construct a quality business plan can be quite daunting, especially to a new entrepreneur who has never done it before. If you’re inexperienced and/or running a very small business, it can be tempting to farm the work out or skip the business plan altogether.
Don’t. You need to write one, and you need to write it yourself.
Why You Need to Write One:
It’s a business GPS. – Far more than a collection of lifeless financial figures, the business plan is a decision-making tool. It defines business strategy and spells out what to expect as a return on investment. It helps in setting objectives, focusing on goals, and avoiding pitfalls. This makes it useful for articulating and sticking to your vision.
It’s a capital magnet. – Financial institutions, investors, and venture capitalists want to know that your business (a.k.a. their money) stands a good chance of succeeding. They also want to know that the person in charge of your business (a.k.a. their money) is organized, thorough, and meticulous. One way you prove yourself is by whipping up a fabulous business plan.
Why You Need to Write It Yourself:
It’s good for you. – The very act of creating a business plan forces you to get up close and personal with your venture. A high-quality, comprehensive plan requires its writer to think about absolutely everything. You have to explore various opportunities. You must consider all possible risks. You need to convert your imagination into real numbers.
It’s good for your business. – Writing a business plan stimulates you to objectively evaluate your business idea. You must meditate on what you will do, why you will do it, and how you will pull it off. You anticipate the highs and lows, weigh the advantages and disadvantages, and methodically measure the likelihood of success or failure.
You Need to Know What You’re Doing:
A business plan is in essence a collection of business planning tools. It examines basic operational matters like knowledge of the market, analysis of your competitors, and establishment of goals. A solid business plan is chock full of summaries, strategies, procedures and analyses.
There are plenty of books and resources out there that give advice on how to develop a business plan, and most of them are helpful to a point. Time to getLaunched: 7 Keys to Succeed with Your Startup describes not only what to include in your business plan, but details how to prepare each component.
The getLaunched platform, however, does more than tell you what to do. It helps you actually do it, using the Biz Plan Generator. This simple drag-and-drop tool guides you through building your plan online, then it packages it in a professional format that you can easily access on your computer or smart phone and share with others (investors, partners, etc.).
Is it possible to do well without a business plan? Sure. But it’s also possible to win the lottery. How much stock do you put in that? If you don’t work to plan your business, you shouldn’t expect your business to work for you. If you make a great business plan, you drastically improve your odds of winning.