why do we need a business plan
Do you want to expand your business, be more competitive in your industry or achieve certain goals? If you answered yes to any of the above, you need a business plan! Whether you've just started out or been running for years, business planning can be the key to your success. 1. A business plan is vital to helping you get finance
If you're seeking finance for your business, you'll need to show banks and investors why they should invest in your business. Lenders and investors will only risk their time and money if they're confident that your business will be successful and profitable. shows your predicted profits and income streams. Your is also a crucial part of helping you to attract funds. Take a look at for more information on applying for finance. 2. A business plan can help you prioritise A complete, thoughtful business plan is one of the most valuable tools in helping you reach your long-term goals. It gives your business direction, defines your objectives, maps out strategies to achieve your goals and helps you to manage possible bumps in the road. Preparing a business plan will help you work out the goals you want to achieve, and the strategies to achieve them. This means you can focus your resources and energy on what you need to do, rather than spreading yourself too thin. The planning process also helps you to consider possible bumps in the road and put a plan in place to better manage them if they do come up. Once you ve got a business plan in place, it s a good idea to regularly review and update it to: make the most of new opportunities as they come your way. 3. A business plan can give you control over your business Developing your business plan helps you to step back and look at what's working in your business and what you can improve on. If you have employees, the planning process can be a good opportunity to seek their feedback on possible ideas and improvements.
Your employees will value this opportunity to contribute to the business. Taking the time out of your business to plan will give you a sense of control about the future of your business and pay off in the long run! Business planning can seem overwhelming and time-consuming, but many successful businesses look at it as an opportunity. The planning process helps you learn about the different forces and factors that may affect your success. If you're already in business, it helps you to step back and look at what's working and what you can improve on. Instead of worrying about the future, a business plan helps to give you a sense of control over your business and your livelihood. learn about your industry, market and competitors understand your business finances, including managing cash-flow and determining your break-even point set specific goals, timeframes for achieving them and how you'll measure performance make sound business decisions that focus your activities, maximise your resources and give you a competitive edge. It's important to have a business plan, but it's just as important to keep it up to date A business plan is not a document you create once and store in your bottom drawer. It's a living guide that you should develop as your business grows and changes. Successful businesses review and update their business plan when circumstances change. Set yourself a reminder to review your business plan regularly. If you have a team in your business, holding brainstorming sessions is a good way to benefit from their knowledge - it ensures you're all on the same page and that you get their support. To write an effective business plan you'll need discipline, time and focus. Although the process can seem challenging, it's very rewarding and gives you a sense of control over your business.
You don't have to start with a blank sheet of paper. Our Download our free to get your business on track. Check out to help you in the business planning process. Take a look at for help in writing your own business plan, and for an alternative format to the downloadable word template. Visit to search for a business advisor that can assist you with your business planning. Investing time and focus in creating a business plan is one of the most valuable activities you can undertake. Creating a well-structured business plan will give you direction and help your business become a success. A business plan provides a roadmap for your business's future and is essential to attracting funding. Writing a business plan doesn't mean you have to hole away in a library for months compiling 40-plus pages of text. You can create a plan in under a month, working part time. Use a presentation format like PowerPoint or Keynote to save time, and make it easier to share your plan. Not all founders or start-ups are the same, of course. You'll want to plan in more detail if you're raising capital or taking on a lot of risk like investing your savings, leaving a job, or supporting a family. Less detail is fine if you aren't raising money or taking on much risk. For example, if you are writing code in your dorm room, you can experiment to find out what consumers will latch onto before thinking about implementation or financing. But either way, you need a plan, and here's why: 1. To avoid big mistakes: The last thing you want to do is work on your start-up for a year, only to realize you were doomed to fail from the start. Many founders learn the hard way that they didn't set aside enough capital to reach their goals, took on partners with the wrong skills and resources, or don't have a viable way to make money.
Developing and sharing a business plan can help ensure that you're sprinting down the right path. 2. To counterbalance your emotions: At times during your start-up experience, you'll be manic so passionate about your ideas you lose sight of reality. At other times, you'll be overwhelmed by doubt, fear, or exhaustion. When your emotions get the best of you, having a business plan lets you step back, and take an objective look at what you are doing and why, what you know for a fact and what you are trying to figure out. 3. To make sure everyone's on the same page: Chances are, you are not building a company by yourself. Ideally, you'll have partners, so you can launch faster, smarter, and with less need to pay employees or suppliers. Even if you don't have partners, you'll have family, friends, and advisers involved. A business plan helps get everyone involved in your start-up heading in the same direction. 4. To develop a game plan: At a start-up, execution is everything. That means you have to set priorities, establish goals, and measure performance. You also need to identify the key questions to answer, like "What features do customers really want? ," "Will customers buy our product and how much will they pay? ," and "How can we attract customers in a way that's cost effective and scalable? " These are all things you'll address during the business planning process. 5. To raise capital. If you raise or borrow money even from friends and family you'll need to communicate your vision in a clear, compelling way. A good business plan will help you do just that. An October 2007 study by found that start-ups with a business plan raised twice as much capital as those without a business plan within the first 12 months.
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