January 21, 2022 0 comments
You have developed a great idea and are now ready to take the next step in starting a small business. A business plan is central to how you start, grow, and grow your business. This will help ensure that you stay aware of all the functions of a successful business, from operational and financial goals to small details, such as budgeting, product offering, competitive analysis, and market planning. Having a well-written business plan in place will ultimately allow for a smoother start-up period and fewer unforeseen problems as your business gets up and running.
Here are five reasons why you need a business plan:
1. It will help you run your business.
Think of a business plan as a roadmap that will guide you through every step of starting and running your business, including how to structure, manage, and grow your business. The process of writing a plan provides an opportunity to reflect on and detail all the key elements of how your business will operate. Businesses change and grow and viewing your business plan as a dynamic document rather than a static one will help ensure that it is continually aligned with your future goals and objectives. The business plan should be updated regularly, at least once a year. The document allows you, as a business owner, to adjust your course, explore new products and market opportunities, and distance yourself from certain areas of the business that are not working as expected or are not not profitable.
2. It can help you clearly define your business.
A well-written plan can help you better define the path you plan to follow over the next three to five years. The document typically includes key sections surrounding your business idea, including product and sales, marketing, management and financial information that can help you define your target market, unique selling proposition, key features and benefits of your product offering, optimal pricing strategies. , and how you intend to sell and deliver your products to customers. Additionally, developing an implementation budget will help you determine your start-up and operating capital needs.
3. It will help you keep tabs on your business milestones.
A business plan holds you accountable to yourself as a business owner. Not only can it help you think objectively about the key elements of your business, but it can also help you review your annual goals and help you make informed decisions about where to grow your business. Did you perform as you planned? Did the results meet your expectations? Did you deviate from your course, and if so, what were the results? An objective review of your business plan can help identify areas for improvement or adjustment. Reviewing your goals against actual results can also provide opportunities to celebrate your successes and set new goals for the coming period aimed at building on your success.
4. It can help with funding.
A comprehensive business plan is essential when it comes to obtaining financing or attracting new business partners. Most potential investors will want to examine the viability of your business and be confident that they will see a return on their investment. Think of your business plan as a tool that can help demonstrate to others that working with you or investing in your business is a worthwhile business.
5. There’s no wrong way to write a business plan.
The right business plan is the one that best suits you and meets your needs. It offers the ability to take everything you’ve thought about about your business and transfer it from your brain to paper in a succinct format for future reference. Generally, most business plans fall into one of two common categories: traditional startup or lean.
Traditional business plans are more common, use a standard structure, and encourage you to go into detail in each section. Traditional plans tend to require more up-front work. Lean Start-up business plans are less common, but still use a standard structure. They focus on summarizing only the most important points of the key elements of your plan. They can take as little as an hour to create and can be as short as one page.
Knowing where to start can be difficult, and the Orangeville and Area Small Business Enterprise Center has tools to help make writing a business plan less daunting and time-consuming. Our team is available to provide free advice and support throughout the process, from start to success.