March 12, 2019 | Mason Roberts
Entrepreneurs often overlook the importance of a business plan, and the role it can potentially play. Many times entrepreneurs just don't want to put the time into making a lengthy, detailed business plan. They tend to think it is not a necessity and they can manage just as well without it. It can also seem very daunting, to write a 50-some page business plan about a business that has yet to seriously begin, just purely based upon predictions. It will likely be very tempting to skip this, especially if your business is a pretty straight forward concept, but if you want undeniable success in your business, it's a good idea to have a business plan to stick to.
Make A Plan
In life, there are many things you can accomplish on a whim with little effort put into the task. Unfortunately, this is not one of those times. In order to be a successful business person, you simply need to put in as much effort as physically possible. In order to help your business grow to its full potential, you need to care for it, as you would a flower. Water the flower, make sure it is getting daily sunlight, and it will blossom to a beautiful force of nature.
The same can be said for your business. Making a business plan can be the one thing that saves your business from withering on the vine, which can in turn make it grow and flourish. It's important that your business plan lays out what path you would like to go within the next few years, with every aspect of the business included. This will not only make your life easier later, but will give you a clear objective that you can follow, instead of running around like a chicken without a head at the first sign of trouble. This can be a major deciding factor between your business tanking or finally taking off.
Do You Need Funding?
Whether you need funding or not right now, you still need a business plan. A misconception with many entrepreneurs is that, if you are not in need of funding, you don't really need to construct a business plan. Some think that that is the only useful way to increase their chances of being approved for funding. Though it is true that many times a business plan is what you need to score big capital, that is not all it's useful for.
Funding or no funding, it is a good idea to write down step by step, detail by detail, everything your capital will be used for. Write down any necessary information. In doing this, you can see if it makes sense. You can pin down the points that seem a little fuzzy, find the holes and the parts you want to keep in your plan. Any weak parts of your business plan should be addressed immediately. Find a way to strength these parts, especially if you will be showing someone else this information in exchange for funding.
You don't want to be a few years into your business and hit a bump in the road that could’ve been avoided years prior when your business plan was first put together. Jumping fully into this plan could also bring ideas you never would’ve come up with otherwise. Just writing down idea after idea can create something you never would have thought possible otherwise.
Don’t Get Intimidated
Writing a lengthy business plan can seem like a hard task, and intimidate many up and coming entrepreneurs. There are many different types of people in the world. Sitting with a paper and pen and writing what may seem like an endless will not be for everyone. It will simply lose their attention and hinder their imagination. If this is you, it may a good idea to start small. Write down little notes of goals you may have, but do not force it. Write down anything that comes to mind when thinking of your small business. Gradually, add more layers and add complete sentences. And in this, add the nitty-gritty details. This does not have to be in any kind of order at first either. There is no pressure. Just go at your own speed. Let your imagination run wild, and build the business the way you want to. Eventually, without you even realizing, there will be a finished product of your plan for your dream business.
Grow As You Go
A business plan is vital, no matter what. This does not just apply for the early stages of your business, either. Planning for your business as it is growing is what can make your business a legacy. Updating your business plan to meet your current needs is the best idea where your continued success is concerned. Change with the times, change with what your target market is interested in. While it is important to conduct a business plan early on, it is also crucial to not get stuck on following this plan to the letter. Be open to changing it if need be. Keep your creative juices flowing at all times, and you may come up with an idea that can take your business to the next level.
Everyone misses something at some point, not matter how successful of an entrepreneur you are. If you want to be an wise entrepreneur, you should try to be open to the fact that you might be missing something, or that there might be a better way of accomplishing your goals.
Start Working on Your Business Plan Today!
Now that you're well aware of the dos and don’ts of a business plan, it's time to make one of your own. Think it through thoroughly. Make sure it's your best work. And keep making adjustments. This is your life and career as an entrepreneur on the line, don't just jump right into it without a second thought. Making a couple drafts, as well as getting a second opinion, can help you hammer out the finer details. Go to a business owner you may know, preferably a successful one, and show them whatever information you've already put together that you feel comfortable with showing. When it comes to long documents like this, it never does any harm to get a second pair of eyes to take a quick look, whether you've been working on your business plan for one day or one year. Regardless of how you choose to do it, make sure your business plan is the perfect map for your career goals!