For those who are starting a new business, one of the most important things to do is have a plan. Starting your own business is a massive endeavor that can cost thousands of dollars, so you don’t want to go into it blindly. Having a business plan will give you an outline of what you need to do, how you will operate your business, and what your goals and methods are. Without a business plan, you may later see that your business venture has been unfocused and that you’ve wasted money. Here are some of the reasons why business planning is so important.
Clarify Your Goals
“Make money.” This is what some people may say their business goal is, but that’s very generic and difficult to measure. A business plan forces you to create specific goals that are specific, realistic, and measurable. That may include making money, yes, but it makes the amount of money quantifiable and sets a timeline. “Grow the business by increasing overall revenue by 15 percent every year for the next three years” is a much stronger goal and gives you something to work towards.
State your Mission
A lot of business owners don’t have a mission for their business. Again, they may fall back on “make money,” but that’s not much of a mission. Instead, a business plan helps you formulate what your business is all about. Your mission will influence your goals and your business practices.
Outline your Business
This is perhaps the biggest part of a business plan. You want to take the time to outline your business. This outline will include things like how the business is managed, how it’s run, and how it will achieve the goals stated while following the mission statement. This part of the plan can be broken down into sections such as production, employment, service, marketing, and evaluation.
There are a few different things you need to keep in mind here. First, you need to be specific whenever possible. If you need financing to get your business off the ground, lenders are going to want to see this plan. They should get a very clear idea of what you’re going to do, how you plan on doing it, how you’ll measure success, and how you will sustain and grow your business. If you don’t address all of these issues, you may not get the loan you need.
Where can you turn for help on creating a business plan? You can look for examples online, but these examples are often focused on specific industries or are for businesses in certain locations. They can’t simply be copied over. Instead, you need to learn what goes into creating a good business plan. One way of doing that is to read Business is ART, a comprehensive book and software package that provide you with templates, information, and guidance on how to create your own business plan. It’s easy to follow approach doesn’t require any special skills to understand, either. The final result is a business plan you can use to make sure your business survives and prospers.
Contact us to learn more about business planning today.