It is always exciting to start a business of your own. This marks the start of your independence and self-sustenance, and the possibilities that spring from it are limitless. Given the right amount of attention and nurturing, it can set you for a life of financial freedom and stability.
And true, just like the last statement, you have to be hands on with a startup. You can’t expect the business to soar on its own, rather you have to take the helm and direct where you want it to go. How do you do it? You need a business plan.
Importance of a Business Plan
Why can’t you just proceed with your undertakings like you normally would? Why do you need to craft a plan for it? Here are the reasons why it is essential.
1. Define Branding
As a business, you will have to face others that are in the same industry as you are. But what differentiates you from the rest? What do you have to offer that they don’t? Your business plan will help you paint a clear picture of what you are and how you want to be known to the market.
2. Set Goals
One of the main reasons for creating a plan is targeting a goal in mind. What do you want to achieve in the long run? Do you want to be the top provider, or do you simply want to remain profitable and relevant? These are things you need to be specific with as you set your goals and visions for your business.
3. Draw in Investors
When you have a business, most of the time it will require you to shell out money that you don’t have yet. This is why investors and other backers are important people to ensuring you thrive. How do you convince them that you are a worthy investment? You need to show that you have plans in place, and that they are not wasting their money on you!
4. Entice Partners
Running your business sometimes isn’t possible when you are alone, and that’s most of the time. You will need partners and employees who share your vision. Your business plan will tell them exactly that, and if you hold the same values and goals dear, then they are likely to join your team.
5. Manage the Business
Because you have defined who you are and specified your goals as a business, you will be able to lay out ways on how to achieve those. Your business plan will serve as an important management tool where you set milestones and timelines as you work your way to making your dreams into reality.
For startups and small businesses, you don’t have to make your lives complicated by making an excessive plan. Sometimes all you need is a simple yet comprehensive plan! You don’t have to impress anyone, rather you only need to make it understandable and sensible. Some of the things you can include in a simple business plan are:
- Key Partners
- Key Activities
- Value Propositions
- Customer Relationships
- Key Resources
- Core Structure
- Customer Segments
- Revenue Streams
You can put it up, say, on a cork-board where you and others can see it, and you have your vision and mission in front of you!