Writing your business plan is the new most important thing in your life. You can’t just fluff your way through this like it’s a think you have to do but don’t want to, you really do need to put some time and effort into this.
“Failure to plan is planning to fail” is the famous quote from Benjamin Franklin, and this couldn’t be truer when you’re planning your small business. The thing to keep in mind is that you’re not just making a plan, but sticking to it. Obviously, you need to be able to roll with the punches, but the basics of your plan need to stay firm.
What goes into a plan? This is probably the biggest concern you’ve got. There are many templates to help you get started. We would recommend you grab a pre-made one and modify it to fit your needs. Most coaches recommend you trim down absolutely everything that is not necessary, and make the plan as short as possible. This is to avoid any unnecessary confusion, and also any unnecessary commitments. You don’t want to have something in your plan that isn’t absolutely concrete and might hold you back.
Who sees a business plan? A lot more people than you might think! Investors, bankers, potential employees and business partners. The list can go on. Any time you’ll want to have anyone strategically involved in your business, you’ll want to have your plan handy. This isn’t limited to those that are going to give you money, but very well might start there. If you’re looking to get a loan from a bank, they will absolutely need to see and understand your business plan. If you’re trying to get investors, you can bet your business they’ll want to see your plan.
You might be questioning the potential employees part. True, if you’re opening a coffee shop your potential baristas might not want to see your business plan. However, if you’re looking for a foreman, project manager, or someone in an executive or managerial level, they may want to ensure the longevity of their career by verifying you’ve got a plan in place.
Lastly, customers may want to see your business plan. Why? Well, this again helps verify the legitimacy of your company. Especially if you’re starting out and don’t have any referrals to give, your potential customers will want to vet out to ensure the partnership will work.
Hopefully those help with the “Why” of business planning. Next up, we’ll help you build your plan from scratch.