Source | Entrepreneur : By Callum Humphreys
Why Writing a Business Plan is Crucial Before Starting a Business
Starting a business may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. All it takes is a strong business plan, the dedication to follow through, and the wisdom to notice when you have to make changes. Your business plan is a map of your future, necessary to guide you through the uncertain waters you’re approaching. Good business owners will understand that strong planning will lead to good management – which, in turn, will lead to a productive and successful business. Planning is all about organizing your priorities and managing your resources. This organization will strengthen your leadership skills, allowing you to guide your business towards success.
Use As Many Drafts as You Need
Writing a plan can be overwhelming, so don’t be afraid to use up as many drafts as you need. The first thing you need to do is, of course, come up with a plan. Don’t stress so much about punctuation or format; just write down the important details. Focus on what you’re good at, what your priorities are, what you can do for the people who will be working under you, etc.
Determine the focus of your business and your target audience. Even if you’re just a one-person business, referring to your old notes and original thoughts when comparing them to the results you’ve seen can be helpful for determining how to tweak your processes for the future.
Think in Advance
Start with a clear long-term goal. Think years in advance: what do you hope to accomplish? What directions do you hope your business will take? After you have a long-term goal, break it into a couple of shorter-term goals or milestones to focus on for the nearer future and the people you will need to get it done. Think bigger than just costs and profits: what’s at the core of your business? What gets it going on an everyday basis?
Return to Your Original Plan
Next, all that’s left to do is activate your plan! Be sure to regularly return to your original plan. Review it, record all progress and setbacks, and make adjustments as needed. Collect all your data and review it critically. This is the point of having a plan: if you track all of your progress, you’ll be able to have a clear vision of what you need to do in the future.
Business plans are useful to help you keep track of the different tasks you need to perform and how to do so. If you regularly meet with clients or investors, it could be beneficial to give them a copy so they understand what your vision is. Firms looking to attract certain employees, suppliers, or other companies to work with may also find it beneficial to publicize their business plans.