When you're starting a business nothing sounds more official than "here's my business plan."
Something about the sound of those two words put together says "professional" and "prepared."
However, there are many businesses that have operated for years without one.
Often times, reluctant business owners find the planning process itself daunting and overwhelming; they would much rather operate with the notes they've jotted down on legal pads and the strategies they hold in the most sacred of places... their memory.
Today, we are going to discuss four reasons why you SHOULD have a business plan.
Reason One: "Its a Blueprint to Your Success."
Somewhere in the history of wise sayings someone said one of the wisest sayings of them all - "success is not a destination."
What does this mean?
While most of us identify with wanting to be "successful" we tend to overlook the fact that success is merely a description of a state of being; its existence, however, must be defined by the person creating it.
Writing a business plan challenges you to define what success means to you and give it a solidified shape.
In doing this you have created a vision.
Your pursuit of achieving that vision will require goals and objectives that must be fulfilled. Having a business plan helps you to sort all of that out - what the vision of success for your venture is, what are the goals/objectives that will help you achieve that vision and what strategies you plan to implement to get all of this completed.
This is your blueprint for getting things done.
And as we say here at LIH Consulting "You wouldn't build your home without blueprints, why would you build your business without them?"
Reason Two: The Creative Process is a "Feasibility Test."
Creating your business plan will require that you determine 1) the work that you do 2) how you plan to get that work done.
It is through this process of documenting how you get things done that you will begin to see areas of strength and, invariably, weakness. Coming face-to-face with those weaknesses gives you with an opportunity to complete research and decide on more efficient ways of being the best in your industry. Moreover, this will also provide you with a moment to truly review the feasibility of your business as a whole. Is your idea solid? Is it cost effective and feasible? Are the operational processes that you have in mind efficient? Are they able to be scaled up?
These questions and more will arise and be answered as you forge ahead through the business planning process.
Reason Three: Investors Want to See It.
This is the shortest reason of all. If you plan to pursue investors for your company they will want to see proof that you have a viable business concept that is organized, structured and prepared for success. Your business plan not only includes your strategies for growth along with the tools and resources that will be emphasized within your company but further, it documents the financial plans, projections and industry statistics that help an investor to quickly identify whether or not your business is what they would like to commit funds to.
This makes the process of forming an alignment much smoother and in many cases, the conversation will not begin well without one.
Reason Four: It Gives You a Level of Accountability to Your Venture.
Creating a business plan requires commitment, time and patience. Likewise, running a successful business requires (at minimum) those same things - commitment, time and patience. The process of creating your business plan tests your perseverance and dedication to your venture. Moreover, it instills an inherent level of accountability. As you mold your business plan you will define the philosophies and values that are etched into the core foundation of what you do. Further, your bp (business plan) also details the expectations, deadlines and strategies that you are agreeing to adhere to and execute. Steadily, this document reminds you to live up to those written agreements.
Still not convinced you need a business plan??
Unsure of where to get started??
Started a business plan that you just cannot seem to finish??
Let us help you cross the finish line towards your successful venture. Schedule a FREE Strategy Session today to see how LIH Consulting's business planning services can help you!!