Starting a business begins with an idea. That idea turns into a vision. To achieve that vision, you need a plan. Writing a business plan helps you plot the route you want your business to take. Without it, your business is rudderless —lacking direction. With it, your small business can grow 30% faster than those without one.
What is a business plan
A business plan is like a blueprint for your business. It outlines the company’s goals and the steps you plan to take to achieve it. It defines the company’s vision and strategy and sets clear financial, marketing, and operational milestones.
What to include in a business plan
Most new business owners know that they need a business plan but don’t know how to write one. A well-written business plan can give you an advantage when dealing with external stakeholders.
A business plan should include the following:
- Company overview
- Services and/or products
- Target market and market research
- Competitor analysis
- Operational and fixed costs
- Marketing and sales strategy
- Financial forecasting
How having a business plan can help your small business grow
Writing a business plan will reveal certain weaknesses and show you how viable the idea is. It also identifies the business’s strengths and can help uncover your unique selling point. Doing this at the startup stage helps you avoid mistakes that will slow your growth later on.
When raising capital, this is the document you will need to apply for business loans, approach investors, and negotiate partnerships.
Once your business is up and running, referring back to the business plan helps keep you focused. With clearly defined milestones and financial projections, you have something to aim for and you can measure your progress along the way. If you deviate from your goals, your business plan is there to bring you back on track.
A business plan isn’t a document that you write once and file. It’s a living document, one you review regularly and update as the business evolves.
If you’re struggling to write a business plan or if you feel it needs updating, we can help. Contact us at [email protected].