A few minutes research into setting up a business and you’ll find reference to having a business plan. But why is a business plan so important, so essential? Surely the work that goes into conceiving of, and setting up your business is enough to pave the way for success? What can be gained by putting together a physical document detailing all your plans and objectives?
In fact, the importance of having a realistic and detailed business plan before you launch your own business, cannot be overstated. The benefits that are gained through the process of developing your business plan yield wins that you may not even realise. Many business experts list having a great business plan as being one of the cornerstones for future business success.
If the idea of drafting your business plan seems overwhelming, take a pause. There is a lot of support in the business community to help you along the way. The Go For It Programme has years of experience working with up-and-coming entrepreneurs to design and develop cohesive and strategic business plans that have firmly set them on the path to success.
For the Go For It Programme, getting your business plan right is the first step. And here’s why:
Educating and Clarifying
Gathering and researching the information you need to pull together a comprehensive business plan is educating in itself. The role of an entrepreneur is broad, you are expected to be the master of all aspects of your business so this first step of business plan drafting is an ideal way to dig deep into the information. All key components of a business are covered in your plan, from financials to operations, products to customers, and strategy to goals. The process of examining each of these areas will stand you in good stead when you do eventually launch your business.
A great business plan will act as a roadmap in the launch and growth of any business, large or small. It shows us where we started, what our original goals and objectives were, what the mission of the company is and what strategy was in place when we launched. It helps in decision making by reminding us of these things, keeping us on the right path, and focusing our attentions.
Opportunities, Risks and Viability
It’s very common for entrepreneurs to have a great idea for a business and to jump right in without asking themselves the most difficult of questions. The process of developing your business plan does just that. It shines a light on possible problems and highlights area of opportunity that we can benefit from. In the end, it reveals whether the business is viable or not. The business plan is our reality check, a way to stay passionate about your business plan but to do it with researched confidence.
Entrepreneurial life can be isolating at times. You have a vision and you’re working hard to move forward with it but there will be knocks and it can be hard to remain positive. In times of doubt, returning to your business plan can be the motivation you need. It will remind you of your mission, your goals, the strategy that underpins your business idea and it will redirect your energy back to doing that.
We all need to be held accountable professionally and you can consider your business plan your boss in this regard. Instead of being employed and having to answer to your senior team member, it will be the content of your business plan that you’re accountable to. Setting goals and fleshing out what ‘success’ means in your business plan means that you can return to it monthly, annually, whenever you need to to check whether you’re staying on track. Are your measurements of success where they need to be? Are you on track with your financial planning? Have you avoided the pitfalls you identified early on and what changes do you need to make to continue on the right path?
Exposes Problems and Improves Chances of Success
The process of putting together your business plan is the best way of identifying problems before they happen. You’ll work through your product offering, your customer base, figure out who your competitors are, and all the while, amassing information and research that can help you spot possible pitfalls before you get to them. Figuring out how to navigate the path ahead or pivoting your strategy to plan around them is invaluable. Perhaps you’ll discover that there is no market for your product, or that you lack capital to launch? Maybe you’ll identify a problem with your pricing or your distribution network. Whatever it is, highlighting the gaps in your strategy at an early stage will be invaluable.
In most cases, the presence of a solid and comprehensive business plan is essential for all funding opportunities. If you are considering seeking a small business loan, securing investment or taking on a partner at any point in your business growth, you will need a strong and detailed business plan. Any investor will need to understand your market, your forecasting, your financial planning. Fleshing out those details allows you to shift and change your plans to make sure you present a robust and compelling product to help you secure the funding you need.
Even taking one or two of these reasons, the creation and maintenance of your business plan is essential to the success of your launch. It will take some time and effort but there is plenty of help available. In the end, you will be grateful for the investment you make at this stage, helping you to avoid mistakes and move more swiftly onto the path of success.
The Go For It Programme is the perfect place to start your journey to business plan creation. Get in touch with us to discuss your new business idea and our experts will be delighted to guide you through the process.
Whatever your business idea, whether it’s just something you’ve been mulling over or whether you’ve taken some steps on the entrepreneurial path already, we’d love to help. Read some of our Go For It Success Stories and get in touch. Our business experts will be delighted to hear from you and to talk you through everything you might need to know to move forward with your business concept.