Writing a business plan can be a daunting task. It’s complicated, time-consuming, and a task that is tempting to put off; a task that tends to fall down on the list of priorities for many business owners.
You wouldn’t set out to hike a mountain without planning your route and setting yourself training targets, so why would you not make a business plan for your business? How can you expect to reach the summit if you don’t know how to get there? A business plan is a blueprint for your business, the light that guides you on your journey to success. Without it, you run the risk of getting lost along the way.
Why you must have a business plan
To test the feasibility of your business idea
The best way to test the potential and feasibility of a business idea is to map it out and analyze all aspects of it. It’s too risky to just put it into action and see where it takes you, just like it would be to set off on a hike with only a rough idea of where to go. The likely result is failure. With a business plan, you can save a great deal of time and money researching and analyzing whether this idea is a good one. If it’s not, it’s no big loss and you’re now free to move on to a new (and better) idea.
To pave a clear path for the running of your business
When you have outlined a clear path to the summit, you can overcome any challenge that presents itself to you without it disrupting your journey to the top. In business, the principle is the same. It can be really easy to get caught up in the day-to-day running of business without moving forward but when you have a clear business plan, this helps you run it with a more cohesive vision. A business plan eliminates the daily clutter and helps you set clear objectives that you can communicate with the rest of your company. With a clear roadmap, every decision and action is made to move you closer to that summit.
To secure funding for your journey
Whether you’re a new business in need of start-up and operating capital to get off the ground or an established business in need of money to buy new equipment or property, you will need to develop a strong business plan to present to established financial institutions. Potential investors and financiers are looking for the risk of non-repayment, so preparing a clear business plan backed up with facts and figures will give you a much better chance of getting the money that you need to expand.
To attract the interest of investors
Many individuals who are setting off on a challenging hike will need the support and funding from sponsors, but how will they attract them? Just like businesses sell to investors, they will need a solid plan that is both coherent and appealing, something that educates the person of interest, something that they can take away and study before deciding to make that monetary commitment. Without a strong business plan, your business idea will just pique interest among venture capitalists and angel investors. A business plan that backs up the success of an idea will gain their support.
To adapt, improve and grow your business
You can’t plan for everything, but there’s nothing worse than making no plan at all. Without one, you run the risk of your business becoming stagnant. When putting together a plan, whether for a hike or for your business, you will come across potential challenges that could arise and this allows you to think about how you would overcome them. As your business develops, your objectives will change and grow and your plan will need to be reviewed and updated. Any journey is dynamic and you will need to adapt to changes in your environment to greatly improve your chances for success.
Set yourself a clear path with a one-page business plan
Don’t start your climb to the summit without a solid and clear blueprint of the road ahead. Don’t make the mistake of thinking of a business plan as an item to tick off and set aside, never to be looked at again.
A business plan is essential to the success of a business whether you need to survive the start-up phase or to ensure the growth of an existing one, and it doesn’t have to be so complicated. At Business Basecamp, we can help you create a succinct one-page business plan that can be altered as your business grows. From clarifying where you’ve been and outlining each area of your business to setting milestones and outlining a clear journey to your summit