Ho-hum, you may be thinking. Or, boring. Maybe even, when can I possibly fit this into my hectic week?
As an entrepreneur, you are an extremely busy individual who probably shoots from the hip more often than not. So, do you really need to take the time and effort to put a business plan in writing?
Almost every CEO and business consultant in the country would answer with a resounding, “Yes!” The importance of a business plan cannot be overemphasized; however, the plan should be carefully considered and comprehensive and objective in nature.
Many entrepreneurs are quick to write a plan if they are seeking external financing, but the reality is every company needs a plan.
Having a good business plan in place will help you stay focused and achieve the goals you have set.
The U.S. Small Business Administration notes that “a business plan should be a work in progress.” Conditions change every day. Our national economic climate is not what it was ten years ago, and your local business environment has more than likely changed in the last few years. Factor progress or decline in your specific industry into this mix as well.
Focus on what makes your company special: what niche does it serve? Think about where you want your business to be in one year, five years, ten years.
What should be included? An executive summary that states the intent and purpose of the company; a thorough description of the business (including information on marketing, human resources, policies, procedures and competition); financial data (P&L statements, balance sheet, list of equipment); and any supporting exhibits (including resumes of principals, lease agreements and other legal documents).
Time spent today creating a business plan is definitely a solid investment in your company’s future.