There is no one perfect way to write a business plan. There are many business planning experts with varying business plan writing formats and numerous entrepreneurs that have been successful without one. With the strongest business plan, a company will only be as successful as the execution of the team.
So there’s no guaranteed success, but writing one will increase your chances. It will act as a roadmap and self-check for you to keep your operation day-to-day in line with the over-arching business strategy. It will continue to evolve, but even the most experienced entrepreneur needs a plan.
The business plan has several other valuable uses:
- The plan will not only help you allocate resources effectively, but will also help you manage all the moving parts and cut down on stress. You may (and probably will) come upon obstacles as your new business swings into operation. Being prepared with a plan, strategy and safety net could be the difference of you continuing operation.
- A business plan will help enlist others in your idea. To make your business successful you’ll need some combination of partners, investors, employees, etc. These people are usually more easily compelled to offer the support you’re looking for if you have a business plan. Giving time or money to a startup is always a risk. If you show a convincing plan for success, partners, investors and employees will be more likely to jump on-board.
- A business plan can be used as a guide — or roadmap — as you operate your business. If done well, your business plan will have created a cohesive strategy for the first 3-5 years of operation. You’ll continue to learn a tremendous amount about entrepreneurship — including: improving processes for efficiency, adjusting for your market, expanding and refining your network and data. Your business plan should evolve with you. Your strategy should be periodically revised, kept fresh and ahead of the competition.
If you didn’t before, you now have a good understanding of what goes into writing a business plan. It’s a time-consuming process and can be challenging. All the individual steps are necessary to building the business. Consider your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as the scope of your idea when determining how to excute on writing the plan.
Once you’ve completed your business plan, you will need to set up your operational infrastructure. This includes getting your business license, registering as a legal entity, setting up an office if necessary and planning all the operational processes — such as accounting, IT and customer service. The Startup Garage offers a variety of resources for executing on these pre-launch activities. Visit our blog, or connect on any of the platforms below.