29 Jul Four reasons you need a business plan
“A goal without a plan is just a wish”. These were the wise words of the infamous French pilot and 1930s writer, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. But today, in the business world, this is also a great mantra to follow.
Whether selling home-grown produce from your driveway, or planning to take over the world with your latest patented innovation, if you’re starting a business then you’ll have some type of goal – financial or other – that you want to reach. However, despite your best intentions, you may quickly find that your goals aren’t coming to fruition successfully, or at all, without a business plan.
A business plan helps set out future objectives, as well as how you’re going to get there from your starting point. It is usually broken down into subsections for you to follow as you progress along your business journey, and ultimately, evolve to where you want to be.
So why is it so important to spend some time at the outset drafting a business plan?
Get motivated to get moving
First and foremost, a business plan will help you set out clear, tangible targets to keep you motivated and on track, and define what kind of support you need along the way. Maintaining this momentum and energy is the key to driving your business forward and encouraging your staff or other support channels (suppliers, contractors and even your customers) to play their part in ensuring your company’s success. Put simply, if you’re not motivated, the people you depend on won’t be either.
Being motivated is all well and good, but it’s important not to become so enthusiastic that you lose sight of your original goals. Your business plan will help keep you focused in the right direction, and will prompt you to continually consider new opportunities or changing market trends, and decide whether they fit with your end goal for the business. As such, it’s a great way of evaluating your particular business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. For more on how to do this, check out our recent blog on SWOT analysis.
Managing the load
The thought of implementing a business plan can be daunting initially. However, the whole point of a plan is to break down seemingly insurmountable goals down into bite-size, step-by-step actions that help you reach your targets slowly but surely. Tackling tasks one at a time will soon help you to feel good about your achievements as your business evolves.
Keep calm and carry on
Even if your goal is to stay the same size, retain the same customer base, and keep doing what you’re doing, a business plan is crucial in achieving this. You’d be surprised how easy it is to expand when you don’t mean to, or to go down a different path than you originally planned. And while these outcomes may not always pose a problem, incorporating these changes as part of your plan helps you constantly reassess your objectives and help you decide whether you want to grow, or indeed, stay the same.
So how do you go about drafting a business plan? Firstly, it doesn’t have to be reams of pages full of minute detail and analysis. A simple One Page Business Plan – FREE DOWNLOAD is a great way to start your business planning and get you thinking about the ways in which you can best achieve your goals, depending on the individual nuances of your business. It’s also the perfect size for pinning above your desk, or anywhere in your workspace, reminding you where you want to go and what you need to do to get there.
So remember, without a sound business plan, your goal for your business is just a wish! If you’re struggling for inspiration or need some guidance when filling out your plan, give us a call today, for free, friendly advice.