In a recent study conducted by the Small Business Administration, 85% of all SUCCESSFUL businesses had a business plan.
In multiple cases, business owners do not do enough planning to ensure they are prepared to launch their business. In fact, a good portion of businesses are started just because of a "good idea" or a "great product," without doing the necessary homework to mitigate risk and maximize success.
This is a common error for a lot of business owners and startups. Some just don’t think a business plan is “important enough” or “necessary” to operate a successful business. While it may be true that some businesses are successful without developing a business plan, do you really want to take that risk and potentially lose everything? Putting the additional time and effort on the front side planning the business will help you start off on a better foot.
The other misconception is that a business plan is a "one-and-done." In other words, once the business plan is completed, it can be shelved, and the business can move full steam ahead. Quite the opposite actually. A business plan is designed to be a living document, fluid, and ever-changing as the business evolves. One the footprint of the initial plan is cemented, routine review and follow through is important to stay on track or to adjust as needed.
While there are many components to the business plan, some of the absolute key areas of the business plan to focus on are:
· Executive summary.
· Business model.
· Market Analysis and knowing your market inside and out.
· Your company's Marketing efforts.
· Articulating the Company's team and experience.
· Financial forecasting.
· Fluidly understand the startup costs and payback period.
Whether you develop your own business plan with a template, or you seek a professional to assist, do not miss the opportunity to do appropriate homework prior to starting your business.