Plan, Plan, Plan - Why You Need a Business Plan
So here we are…you have a great business idea, did your research and you are ready to get your feet wet as a badass entrepreneur. Hold up……
Do you have a plan?
So, before you go diving into the deep end of the pool without a life vest, you need to grab that trusty old pen and paper and do a rough draft outline of your business, as a precursor to the business plan you will most definitely need.
A business plan is like the life vest of your business, or is it more like a road map??? Either way, it is essential to ensure that every aspect of your business flows seamlessly. Simply put a good business plan…
Takes the guesswork out of the strategic approach of how your business will operate, its structure, and its growth.
Helps you organize your business milestones
Gives you a projected timeline of the intended path your business will take in order to grow and make money.
Is essential in securing funding
No matter the size of your business you need a business plan. Granted, some plans are more in-depth than others but, whether it is a Traditional business plan or a Lean Startup business plan, the benefits of carving out all aspects of your business and creating a clear picture of its flow and growth, is one that no business owner can argue.
Initially, I went the traditional route and did a deep dive into my business, laying out in great detail its executive summary, description, market analysis, legal structure, services, marketing strategy and sales, projected earnings, request for funding (if necessary) …. the whole nine yards. It is also worthy to note that after drafting my beautifully in-depth plan, I realized, for my business, I could have also used a one-page plan or lean startup business plan, where all these aspects would be concise and summarized.
Yes… it would have saved me a crap ton of time when laying out my plan but can I tell you a secret…. It doesn’t matter! That’s the beauty and ease of a business plan, there is no wrong way to do a business plan as long as it satisfies your needs.
I know, at this point your want to know, ...is this lady ever going to tell me how to layout my business plan? Is she going to offer a template or something?
Short answer nope…. but I will point you in the right direction to get one.
There are a ton of resources online that offer free business plan templates, my favorite however is, Microsoft Office. They have editable templates that can cover most of your business needs. Also, the SBA website gives you a detailed description of what each business plan should contain, along with offering a visual layout reference, for both types of business plans, using mock plans built for fictional business owners.
I know, it’s so many steps, and just when you think you are ready to hit the ground running there is one more thing you need to do…. I get it… that was me not too long ago. But I can tell you for a fact that just like a house, your business needs a strong foundation to have a better chance of surviving the ebbs and flows of the business world.
So, carve out the time necessary to build your business plan! No matter which format you choose just remember to make it work for you. Your business will thank you for it.
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