A few weeks ago I talked to a friend who was in the process of starting his business. He had a great idea, had some investors on board and was building an app. I asked him if he had written a business plan and put a business budget together. He said he didn’t. He was really struggling with questions like: Is the idea going to work? We don’t have enough money right now…
There is an ongoing debate if it’s important to write a business plan or not before you start a business. Some people say you just need to start going, do research as you go, adapt along the way and grow. Don’t plan too much.
Our world is constantly rapidly changing, so we constantly have to adapt, improvise and overcome, but I believe writing your business plan can increase the probability of success for the following reasons:
- Writing a business plan forces you to THINK about each part of your business. It’s mostly an exercise for yourself. Is this going to work? Do I really want to do this?
- It forces you to TALK to your market and your potential customers. In that way you learn a lot from them and grow in your understanding of your market and products or services you can create to match the needs.
- It help you answering the CORRECT questions when you are researching. A good Business Plan Template gives you questions to answer that you maybe wouldn’t have asked yourself.
- It gives you INSIGHTS from friends, family and other trusted advisors that you can learn from.
- It forces you to be EMOTIONALLY DETACHED from your idea. Passion is a great driver of your business, but sometimes our passion can develop into “tunnel vision” and we don’t see the risks/obstacles anymore.
- Developing your Business Budget helps you to look at the financial numbers and see if you can make a living and impact the community around you. If it doesn’t, it’s not a good business. It might be a hobby, or a ministry, but not a good business.
- It helps you to PRESENT it to friends, family and investors to pitch your idea and see if they want to invest.
- Although writing the business plan seems a lot of work in the beginning, it SAVES you loads of time in the long run. If you don’t plan from the beginning and start the wrong business and you try to make it work for years, it costs you a lot of time and energy. I have done this several times. I didn’t write business plans for several of my businesses and I regret it now. It took me soo much time and effort.
Writing your business plan is a process of thinking, researching, asking advice from others and learning from your market. When you are writing it, you have already started your business in a sense.
So, go out and start writing your business plan. From there you have a better idea IF the business is viable and what the steps are to start and grow the business.
Download Business Plan Template.
Download Business Budget Template.