Are you ready to get down to business? I mean really, really ready? Do you have a business plan?
While writing a formal plan might not be at the very top of a small business owner’s already full to-do list, it could make the difference between succeeding and struggling. According to a study cited in the HBR (Harvard Business Review), entrepreneurs who wrote a plan were more likely to succeed than their non-planning counterparts.
What is a business plan?
Simply put, a business plan is a document that outlines the goals, objectives, and strategies of an organization. It is used to provide information about the company’s direction and how it will meet its goals.
There are many reasons why you should write a business plan. Below we cover the top 5 reasons why a business plan is important.
5 reasons why a business plan is needed
1. To start your business off right
A blueprint does a lot more than help you flesh out where you want to go; it pushes you to determine the best way to get there. Having a clear, carefully written business plan before you break proverbial (or literal) ground can help you stay organized, on task, on schedule, and even help you manage stress during the early days of building a business. By sizing up the competition, mulling over marketing plans, and buckling down on the business budget, you’re not just filling in the blanks, you’re writing yourself a blueprint to business success.
Read more about creating an effective executive summary for your business plan
2. It provides measurable business goals
A solid business plan will help you define the benchmarks to measure your overall progress. Most new business owners want to “be successful,” but how do you measure success? A good business plan forces owners to define their goals and choose how they will track and measure their progress. Your goals should change as you grow and should be reviewed regularly. No goal is too big or too small! Your measurable goals might include:
- Receiving 10 four- and five-star reviews online for customer service
- Increasing your online store traffic by 30 percent by the end of the year
- Making enough in sales to make your side hustle into a full-time job
3. It keeps you motivated as a business owner
Now and then, even the most driven owner may feel unenthusiastic or exhausted by work. The occasional review of your business plan can reignite the spark you had in the beginning and remind yourself why you’re working so hard. In addition to seeing progress you’ve already made, a business plan can help keep your eyes on the prize, when they might be drifting away.
4. Helps in securing funding for your company
Your set-up may be small for now but if you plan to grow, a business plan can be an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to securing small business financing. Investors, lenders, and grant makers all want to see your vision and how you’ve built your business before signing that cheque. Sharing a clear, viable plan with financials is a great way to get potential partners as pumped as you are.
Read more about the difference between a grant and loan
5. Creates a contingency plan
No business owner has an infallible crystal ball for telling the future, but a business plan can be a great way to strategize for the future and plan for potential setbacks. Variables like the economy or changing customer tastes may put obstacles in your path, but thinking ahead of time about how you’ll deal with them can save you time and stress later.
Whether you’re new to the game or an old pro, a business plan can give your company structure, and generate excitement about your new venture. And nobody is more excited about your business than Ownr is, so when you’re ready to launch, we’re offering you tools and resources that will save you money, time, and stress when getting started!
Ready to start your business? Ownr has helped over 15,000+ entrepreneurs hit the ground running quickly – and affordably. If you have questions about how to register or incorporate your business, give us a call at 1-800-766-6302, Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST, or email us [email protected].
This article offers general information only, is current as of the date of publication, and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by RBC Ventures Inc. or its affiliates.