Well, you've decided to take the initiative towards your own entrepreneurial journey or possibly create something new and revolutionary. You're excited because this will be a great adventure! One hiccup - where do I start? What resources are helpful for your passion project to have a fighting chance of success? That will be a document that has stood the test of time, the business plan.
You are a visionary! You have the passion, energy, and power to make your idea come to life in the world. However, you may not know where to begin or what tools will be helpful for your journey.
First and foremost, your business plan should convince you that your idea makes sense. You’ll use your business plan as a roadmap for how to structure, run, and grow your new business. It’s a way to think through the critical elements of your business.
Starting a business can be challenging, demanding, and takes a lot of commitment. One key element that will lighten this whole process from the getgo and give you a leg up rather than being tossed in the wastebasket before your idea even starts is a business plan. That’s right, a good old fashion business plan will give you and anyone that would like to learn of your project or possibly invest in it a good overview and essential act as a roadmap to review, adjust and see if you are on course to achieving success.
This comprehensive guide will be broken up into two parts. This article will act as the meat and potatoes or foundation for going over the business plan, what it is used for, and how it can benefit you. In the second article, you will learn everything you need to know about business plans and what they are made up of. It doesn’t matter if you have years of experience in the business world or are just starting out with your first lemonade stand; having a business plan is essential for any business to have more adds of success stacked in their favor.
Do you think Elon Musk started Tesla without knowing where the company would go or at least a general idea? Or did Bill Gates start Microsoft without a clear plan in mind? The answer is no. They put in the research, time, and effort to create a well-thought-out business plan that took them from an idea(concept) all the way through execution. Probably had to pitch the idea to multiple investors, refine the idea and make adjustments and, voila, received funding, and they were on their way to becoming industry titans.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “I am not the next Elon Musk, or hey, I respect Windows, but I am an Apple fan through thick or thin.” Why am I going to invest the time to make this plan?
Why you need a business plan:
Creating a well-laid-out blueprint of your vision brings you a few steps closer to your success, rather than a nudge in the opposite direction. It will help you focus on your goals because it forces you to think about them and how to achieve them. That is the whole point of a business plan, whether starting a company or a solo-entrepreneurial journey.
Every business plan should be unique to its business and environment. Still, there are some essential components that all good plans contain. I cover the theme more in detail in “The essentials towards creating a solid business plan.” However, to give you a sneak peek, some of the critical items that you will want to think about and document are:
What are the key things you need from this document?
A company’s mission statement is a great place to start.
- Offers a general overview of your objectives & goals and what they are?
- An Executive Summary (and do I need one)?
- What information should I include in my business plan?
- How long should my business plan be?
- How do I present the company’s financial projections?
These are all questions we will answer when writing a comprehensive guide to put together your first or next successful Business Plan.
It’s important to note, though, that building your business plan will take time and effort. Still, it doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, you can create one using various templates found online(link included below) in just minutes!
Here are some of the benefits of having a business plan:
- It helps you define what your goals are and how you want to achieve them; this includes financial goals and marketing strategies. And who doesn’t want an overview to see how their idea will pan out?
- It serves as a guide for you and your team, especially in the early days of your company when everything is new; it will keep everyone on track and focused.
- You can use it to get funding from investors or banks because they want to see a well-thought-out plan that has a high chance of succeeding before giving their money away.
- It helps you focus on what your business does best and how it will achieve success in its market; this is especially important when starting out with a new one! This is where the competition comes into play; who are they, and what do they have that can benefit you? What do you have to offer them?
- A solid business plan will ensure no unforeseen issues with starting up an enterprise before they come along – like funding problems or lack thereof. A good example is to look at it as inspecting a new home before purchase. You will not invest your hard-earned money into some property with more problems than letters in the alphabet every day now.
- It keeps everyone in your company on the same page by providing them with an overview of what their goals should be and how to achieve success; this way, you can make sure that all employees are working towards achieving common objectives for themselves individually. This is also a great way to keep track of projects/tasks being done as well.
For many people, this document is the first step in determining whether or not to start a company. Avoiding the mistake of investing time and money in a business that will inevitably fail on paper may be as simple as evaluating if an idea works in practice. To some degree, all great entrepreneurs and inventors went in with a well-devised action plan. For instance, let’s take Vince Lombardi. He gave us the gift of moving speeches not comparable to recent Marvel movies(but still good speeches). He played out a plan to guide his team and give them the confidence they needed to go out on the field and win.
Remember, no matter what path you choose, it is crucial to understand that your business plan should be a living document that you will continually update as your business grows.
The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.
– Vince Lombardi
Did you know?
The average life span of a new business is only about two years. Many businesses fail due to poor planning or lack of it altogether. Companies that do survive often struggle for several years before turning profitable – if they ever make money at all! This is not meant to scare you, only to show you that you need to take your business seriously and have a plan if you want it to be a solid chance at success.
Before going forward, perhaps it will be best to have a heart-to-heart with yourself and ask if creating a business is something you see yourself doing day in and day out. Are you the type of person who is okay with working long hours?
Dedicating yourself to something that may not produce any results for an undetermined amount of time and putting up with the stresses that come with being a business owner? If so, then read ask yourself the following questions, and if the answer is “YES,” you are on the right path.
1. Do you have an idea for a business?
2. Have you ever started a business before?
3. What made you decide to start your own business?
4. Are you afraid of failing?
5. Do you have a business plan?
6. What are your goals for your business?
7. How will your business be unique from other businesses in your industry?
8. Do you have the resources to start and run your own business?
9. Do you have the time to start and run your own business?
If you answered “YES” to most of these questions, then congratulations! You are well on your way to starting a successful business. However, if you answered “NO” to any of these questions, don’t worry – there is still time to get your business on track. Remember that it is essential to have a plan and take your business seriously if you want it to succeed.
Now that we have answered the question: “What is a business plan?” and discussed some of the benefits of having one, it’s time for you to create your own! An excellent place to start is by downloading our free business planning templates.
To Sum it up
Creating a well-thought-out and researched business plan is one of an entrepreneur’s most important things for their new or growing business. Without one, you are setting yourself up for failure. With a good business plan, you give your business the best.
Put in the time and effort to ensure that your business plan is clear and concise. Don’t over-complicate it – just get the essential information down on paper so you can use various documents(link attached) as a guide for how your company should operate moving forward!
There’s nothing wrong with asking for assistance to get a nudge in the proper direction. Remember to stay calm, composed, and optimistic throughout the process.
We’re going to change the world! I know it may sound lofty, but this effort toward empowerment, education, and inspiration is something that needs your help. It might even give you a little inspiration on what we can achieve when working together as one team towards these goals.
So please share our article with friends/family members who could benefit from reading it. The first step isn’t easy. Thank you for being part of this journey.
Please share what strategies and tips work for you in the comments below. This has been “Don’t know why you need a business plan? You’re not alone.” I hope it was helpful.
Thanks for reading, Until the next time, keep on overcoming your hurdles and remember, the best is yet to come.