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A business plan will help ground you, but also figure out where you fit within the greater whole, things you may not have taken the time to consider.5) Objectivity – Talking to friends and family about your great idea can make it seem like a can’t-miss proposition.
2) Research – The knowledge you’ll gain as you explore the industry you’re working in will be invaluable.
You’ll get a much better understanding of the niche you hope to fill and where you fit into the market.
Whether you’re thinking about starting a business or looking for financing to expand one you’re already running, you’ll find writing a business plan beneficial, if not essential.
Many lenders won’t give you money unless they know you have a well-thought out strategy for where you’re going and how you’ll get there.
3) Commitment – Taking a look at expense projections, sales and revenue forecasts, and all the other dollars and cents aspects of your business will help keep you on track as you move forward, and serve as a built-in warning system if you’re not where you’re supposed to be.
4) Exploration – It’s easy to get so focused on the nuts and bolts of your business that you lose sight of the bigger picture.Do they grasp the key issues involved with your business? Great employees will appreciate how you’ve taken the time to assess your place in the market — as will lenders and investors when you need to raise money. You understand the benefits of having a business plan and you’re committed to writing one. Some elements belong in each one, and we’ll explain each of those below, but your presentation might be completely different.Most importantly, think about who the audience is and what the goals are for the plan.An investor or lender may be looking for something more.Internal Working Plan – If the primary purpose of your plan is to use it to run your business, it doesn’t have to be nearly as formal as a traditional, full-scale business plan.1) Focus – Writing a business plan will help you gather all of your ideas in one place, hone your message and crystallize your vision.This will keep you from getting scattered, sidetracked, or pulled away from what’s likely to make you the most successful.Doing the work to put the plan together will make sure you think about all of the important facets you need to cover, and give you standards to hold yourself to as you start to put the plan into effect. While it’s important to see your business plan as flexible, it’s great to have something in writing that helps keep you honest with yourself about your performance.8) Measurement – Laying out your goals and ideas in advance gives you something to check in with along the way to see how you’re doing. 9) Recruitment – When you’re looking to attract top talent, your business plan will help give potential employees an overview of what you’re all about, and their reaction to the plan will help you know if they’re a good fit. Just as your goals and business will not look exactly the same as someone else’s, your business plan will be unique to you.In other words, it’s a guide for how to set up your business and run it on a daily basis to help you reach your long term goals.And as we said, it’s a worthwhile investment of time and effort even if you don’t need to present it to potential investors.