For most small business owners, the business plan is perhaps the most important factor when it comes to raising capital to get a startup off the ground. However, writing—and regularly updating—your business plan will reap benefits far and beyond just investment.
The business plan is something of a pain point for many an entrepreneur. Business owners often struggle to develop one when launching a new venture, and the last thing they want to hear is that once it’s finished, they will need to create a new one every year to assist in the ongoing success of their organization. However, time-consuming as it may seem, there are sound reasons for developing an annual plan that serves to monitor and manage the ongoing operation of a business, five of which are listed below.
1. It helps you see the wood for the trees
Developing an annual plan forces you to take an objective, critical, and unemotional look at the facts of your business; what’s working and what isn’t. In short, it forces you to arrange your thoughts and ideas in a logical, sequential order.
2. It allows you to strategize
It requires you to consider the gaps in your business based on a realistic assessment of your existing resources—as well as your personal skill set—allowing you to plan to bridge those gaps.
3. It helps you set goals
An annual plan will be a powerful communication tool that encompasses your goals, objectives and strategies to achieve success. it can also help you reach those goals by providing the appropriate linkages—internally and externally—to make sure your objectives are met.
4. It’s your working action plan
A thorough business plan serves as an operating blueprint for the year, and allows you to simulate reality and anticipate pitfalls long before they occur.
5. It helps you know what you need to do financially to survive every month
It helps you base decisions on numbers, rather than going with your gut instinct.
As with so many aspects of running a business, annual plans are part science and part art; part prediction and part taking actions based on calculated risk. When you sit down to flesh out and structure your ideas, goals and visions, you’ll find that any obstacles you may face will become apparent and will force you to be more creative and more innovative in order to overcome them.
To download a free business plan template, visit the Free Tools section of the Bizlaunch website or click here. You can also attend next Wednesday’s free webinar, ‘The Secrets to Writing a Good Business Plan’, at 1pm Eastern. Register here