Everyone tells me I need a Business Plan, but why?
Most people starting or running a business have heard that they should have a business plan, but often they don’t know why or how to get one.
Why write a business plan?
The reality is, all businesses should have a business plan; but many don’t. They take time, a lot of thought and often expert support in completing them. So why do you need one? Because a business plan helps you to:
- clarify your business idea
- identify potential problems
- set out your goals
- measure your progress
Clarify your Business Idea & Identify Potential Problems
If you’re starting up a company or growing an existing one, you need to think your idea through thoroughly. Make sure you’ve covered all the practicalities in theory before you embark on launching your new venture. Because if you haven’t, you could be wasting valuable time and money on something that isn’t viable.
The process of completing a business plan, will mean you have to think deeply about your idea, identify the goals you want to achieve and hurdles you face. It will outline your marketing and sales strategies, your operations and logistics and your financial forecast.
Set out your goals
As a small business owner, you need to know where you’re headed and how they’re going to get there. Because if you don’t you could end up spinning in circles and not getting to where you want to go.
It doesn’t matter what your ambition is, or how big you want your business to be.Or matter what industry you’re in either, a business plan is an invaluable tool for all businesses. If you want to launch, grow, sustain or even close a business, you need to know how you’re going to do it, you need a business plan.
Measure your progress
As you start your business journey, your plan will help you to measure your progress. Keep checking back to see if what you’re doing fits with what you set out to do. Are you going to reach your ambitions and goals?
When should you write one?
There are key times when you should ensure that you have a business plan in place and that it is up to date:
- Right at the start, before you’ve launched and when you’re trying to work out what your business is and what your ambitions are.
- When you’re ready to make a change to your business, whether that’s structure, new product ranges, or change in strategic direction. Basically anything that you want to do to grow your business.
- When you’re looking for investments or funding – you will need a thorough, robust and accurate plan to secure funding.
- When you want to close the business or sell it on. You will need a clear plan so that you manage the transition effectively, and that all relevant people are informed in the correct and timely way.
What to include
Your business plan should include:
- what it is you want to do and why
- what products or services you want to launch
- who your target customers would be
- who’s your competition
- how you’re going to reach them (your sales and marketing)
- what advice and support you will need
- what equipment etc you will need
- and your financial plan (financial forecast, sales forecast and profit and loss)
Who Needs it?
- The main reason to have one is for YOU. The process of completing it means you have thought through your idea thoroughly so you don’t waste your time. And it will remind you what to get on with, when the reality of running a business becomes overwhelming.
- Because your business plan contains all the information about your business, you can use it to cut and paste info into other documents you need as move forward. For example briefs to suppliers, applications for awards and accreditation’s and for marketing material.
- Business plans are also needed if you’re looking for investment from banks or funding applications. If you’re needing it for this reason, make sure you have a really robust plan with accurate financial forecasting.
Once you’ve started on your business journey, you need to use your business plan to keep you on track. You didn’t write your Business Plan as an academic exercise! You wrote it, so you’d know what to do and when, so revisit it and keep revising it.
In the early days, make a point of reading it at least once a month, to make sure your keeping focused on what it is you’re trying to achieve. Revise it as your plans change and keep it current. I know, there’s so much to do, you haven’t got time to keep on writing, but a good plan will stop you from wasting time on things that don’t deliver towards your goal.
So, why do you need a business plan?
- You need it to make sure you have considered your idea carefully and thoroughly
- To set you on a path that will enable you to reach your goals
- To keep you focused as you go on your journey; don’t take endless detours and not get to where you want to go.
Remember, your plan is primarily for you. It is for you to get to where you want to be, and create the business you want it to be.
We can help you build your business plan
At Brilliant Together we help start-ups and small businesses create their business plans. We have several different business plan services available to you depending on your need and budget. So, if you need help writing your Business Plan, then get in touch.
Molly contacted us when she needed a Business Plan; and she said she found the experience of working with Brilliant Together “invaluable”…
“Helen wrote the business plan for my food start-up. Our first consultation was super friendly and relaxed but behind the scenes Helen had done her research and completely understood what my company was about. She was an excellent listener and had ideas to contribute which I am planning to pursue.
Helen got my business plan spot on and has always been incredibly supportive and positive. I am definitely going to keep in touch with Helen and hope to work with her again in the future”.
Sound good; need some help?
Then get in touch!
Read some of our related blogs:
- Start your business from your kitchen table
- Want to start your own business, but don’t know where to start?
- How to find the time to start your business when you’re also a mum
- Build a virtual team of independent businesses
- Work from Home – How to avoid feeling isolated
- The Brilliant Together Story – How I went from Corporate Life to running my own Small Business
About Brilliant Together
Do you need help with setting up your business?
If you need support and guidance in getting your business up and running, and growing then give us a shout.
Brilliant Together is a small business consultancy. We provide expert business advice and support to businesses looking to launch or grow. We specialise in Business Plans, Marketing strategy and Planning; see our services. We also have a network of experts in a wide range of areas from Accountancy to Web-design and everything in between! So what-ever you need, we can connect you to someone who can help. See some of our Brilliant People.
If you want to know how I can help you build your business dreams into a successful reality, get in touch.