If you are just starting your business a written business plan can help you organize all the pieces that will have to come together to make your business a success. A business hoping to expand its operations in some way can achieve the same benefits. For example, if you are a well-established business trying to grow out of a business-as-usual rut you can utilize a business plan as a way to examine various options before committing to a single option.
With a busy schedule of the day-to-day operations, often many small business owners feel that they can keep track of everything without the need to write it down. A written plan, after all, is really just the paper image of the internal planning that every business owner does anyway. The structure of a written plan makes it more likely that you will consider all the relevant factors and that nothing important slips through the cracks. Besides, the time and energy you will spend creating a written plan that presents a blueprint for your business idea, this significantly increases your chance for success. You are visualizing and writing it down as well!
Your business plan can also serve as a reality check because forces you to examine the feasibility of your business ideas. You must think about all the relevant factors and in doing so, you are forced to look at how viable those ideas really are. Having your written business plan is similar to having a resume for your lenders, investors and even your potential employees to gain a positive image of what your business is and what it can be expected to do!
A written business plan also keeps you on track, time-wise. There are a variety of activities that goes into running your own business and having a timetable is helpful in coordinating those activities. Setting and achieving goals require deadlines. Having benchmarks can help assess the various factors that might affect your business and better prepares you to deal with situations that may arise; if you have been in business for a while you now understand that business is cyclical. Your written business plan provides a means for tacking the progress of your business and so you can adjust where you need to so that you can achieve your goals. Investing your time and energy in writing a business plan will pay off in the long term. It can provide a great starting point for future planning and growth for the vision and success of your business!