If you are in the process of getting your business off the ground, one of the first items you will contemplate is; Do I really need a business plan? This question is often asked because writing a business plan can be a real pain. You can find articles that support that you don’t actually need one, but then you will find articles that 100% say it is a mistake to ever start without a business plan.
Is a business plan really needed?
So what’s the truth, do you need a business plan or not? The answer lies within the fact of knowing the true benefits of a business plan and if you are OK with not having those benefits. Basically if you know exactly your market strategy, forecast projections, break-even sales, and have done all the calculations and projections, then maybe you are just a genius and might not need one.
For the rest of us, we are stuck with planning because writing goals, strategies, and understanding what we need to do to be successful can become a compiled mess of information if we don’t write it down and structure it.
Don’t make it painful.
The great part is that this process shouldn’t be a huge task. Your business plan doesn’t need to be a 30 page document with every scenario or idea laid out. It really just needs to be a concise well-delivered plan that showcases what you are trying to do and how you are going to do it? Marketing, sales, expenses, team members, and many other elements all go into making a business successful.
This is why I recommend always using a software. Think about it, there are experts out there who have laid out exactly what you need so you don’t get lost so there is no reason to not use their help. Startegy offers a business plan that has the forecast built in so that when you download your plan, you also have your future cash flows, operating expenses, and a full net income sheet for the next 3 years already included in your business plan.
Use expert guidance
Another great feature that Startegy uses in their business plan is that they have a guided walk-through. Each section shows a few questions the user should answer and gives ideas of exactly what they need to include in each section of the business plan. From experience, deciding what to put has always been the hardest decision and takes the greatest amount of time. You can reduce a ton of time by having an expert help you know exactly what to do to create a successful business plan.
With either of the 2 scenarios above, you should be able to build a sleek, concise business plan that will impress investors or just anyone interested in your business endeavor. There are also other methods of creating a business plan and other companies that will help you. Some are pretty advanced and will cost a few thousand dollars.
What’s really important?
A business plan should be less about getting something done and more about helping you understand the important aspects to get your business to a successful, profitable point. This is why it’s almost essential to either pay an expert or use a free software to walk you through it. Starting a business should never be a random shot in the dark. There are millions of businesses and experts out there who can help you avoid mistakes.
It’s easier to answer questions that investors would ask instead of just guessing what's important. This is why using the software can result in a beautiful business plan in under 15 minutes. If you can’t answer the questions being asked, it’s not because they are difficult. It may just mean that as a business owner you need to spend some more time planning.
Planning a business has never been a simple task. If it was, everyone would be a successful business owner. A great business plan software should help you become aware that you need to know more before jumping into the small business world.
Preparation for success.
I look at business plans as not something you just have to do, but as a guide to help you understand your business. There may be elements that you simply just forgot or we’re too excited to really think through. A business plan keeps you grounded to the real challenges of starting a business. You can get through it in a quick 15 minutes using Startegy so there really isn’t any downside to at least trying it.
Who knows, you may be missing a crucial bit of understanding or knowledge of competitors and the business plan may be the difference to helping you gain a true advantage. Market research and business planning are crucial elements to running a successful business. A business plan should really contain your knowledge that you have gained from doing your due diligence of research and preparation. Think of it as more of a tool than a chore and you will be able to dive deeper into the knowledge of your plan.