Updated: Dec 15, 2021
Did you know that most small businesses never see their 5th birthday? There are many reasons why this is, including cash flow problems, lack of customers, excess competition, failure to form a cohesive team, and more. Now, before you get disheartened, I am here to give you good news. Many of these businesses would have stood a better chance for success if they had thoughtfully laid out a proper business plan and stuck to it. Today, I am going to share with you the importance of business planning and what you need to know to get started.
What is a Business Plan?
A business plan is essentially a blueprint for your business. It provides you with a basic roadmap to follow as you get started on your business and forces you to critically analyze all components of your business before jumping in. Of course, nothing is set in stone. You can modify your plan as time goes on, but this is an excellent starting point.
How Does a Business Plan Benefit You?
In addition to giving you an essential starting point, a business plan forces you to research and critically analyze every aspect of your business. By doing so, you can:
- Gain insights into your customers' wants and needs
- Understand your competition & what they are doing
- Document your revenue model & determine your financial needs
- Identify weak points or areas you forgot to address
- Create milestones to mark development and success
- Make sound business decisions
- Attract investors, partners, and others to your business
- And so much more!
Write for the Reader
Speaking of attracting others to your business, a business plan needs to be geared towards the reader. While having a personal business plan for yourself to follow is excellent, you may need to create additional (tweaked) versions to suit new potential readers.
Whether you are attempting to raise capital from potential investors, communicate new business ventures to stockholders, or are trying to gain a new business partner, they all want to see that you have a well-thought-out business plan. While abundant passion and drive are appreciated, nothing says "sound business venture" than viable numbers.
What is Included in a Business Plan?
I’m not going to lie to you, writing out a business plan takes a while, but I promise it is worthwhile. Here are the basics of what you will need to write a bare-bones business plan:
- An executive summary
- A company & business description
- A products & services explanation
- A market analysis
- A marketing plan
- A sale plan
- Legal considerations
- Financial considerations
- And then additional details according to your specific business type.
I get that the above list is super basic, but I promise that I won’t leave you hanging. You can get my free Business Plan Template by shooting me an email at email@example.com. Just write, “I Want the Business Plan Template” in the subject line!
Do you want someone to walk you through the process? I am here to help you! With over 20 years of experience as a top business executive and having created my own business (where I filled out this same form), I can guide you through this process and provide critical insights tailored to your specific circumstances. All you have to do is book a call with me!