Having a business plan will put everyone on the same page and prevent any misunderstandings early on.
A well-written business plan will provide your business with the structure it needs to run smoothly by laying out what your priorities should be and the actions you’ll need to take.
Even if you end up enlisting the help of a professional business consultant, you’ll still need to be closely involved in the planning and writing process, so here are some of the most important ways a business plan can help you succeed.
You probably already know who you’ll be targeting with your product or service, but without a business plan you won’t fully understand how you fit into the market, what your priorities should be and the challenges you might face.
It will help you manage everything from cash flow and personnel to marketing and brand awareness.
Having things in writing will also make it easier to monitor your company’s performance and identify areas where you might be falling short.For instance, if one of your goals is to have a certain number of new clients or customers by the end of the year, your objectives might include creating a customer referral program, revamping your website and blog, or hosting an online competition to gain a greater following on social media.If you want your business to succeed, it’s important to take the time to identify not only its potential and strengths, but its weaknesses too.Despite this, 40% of small businesses don’t have one, and 21% of Australian small business owners say they don’t have time to write one.Another survey of Palo Alto companies found that business owners with a completed business plan are nearly twice as likely to be successful when securing funding and growing their business.Writing a business plan will force you to look at your product or service objectively and understand your strengths as well as your weaknesses.Any potential investor will want to know what they’re getting themselves into, how their money will be spent and whether or not you will be capable of pulling it off.Learning how to write a business plan can make the difference between a successful start-up and a failed venture, but not all business owners and entrepreneurs recognise the importance of having one.A survey by NAB (National Australia Bank) found that one third of Australian small businesses fail because they don't have a business plan.Now that you understand how a business plan can help you succeed, you’re probably wondering where to start, and if you’ve been researching business plan examples, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information you’ve come across.As with any big project, it can help to start with a few basics so you’ll have something to build on as you go along.