Here’s one of the most important reason why you need to have a business plan, no matter how long or short it is: To look up to when you are feeling lost.
When you have a brilliant idea to start a business, you – like me and most entrepreneurs – are probably anxious about making yours into reality as soon as you can.
And many of us, including me, are doing just that – we start a business without any business plan, thinking writing a business plan would be such a waste of time.
Well, maybe some made it, but I don’t – I don’t find my business to be successful without business plan; in fact, I failed without business plan. I’ve lost 2 franchise units 2 years ago simply because I think franchising offers a surefire way to success, with or without a business plan.
So, I strongly recommend you to write a business plan.
Business plan? Umm… right – maybe I’ll do it tomorrow?
No! “I’ll do it tomorrow” means you won’t have any plan at all, forever! You have to do it now, today, even as you read this article.
Now, I understand what some of you would think: Writing business plan is a turn off, and many doing such plan fail before they even start!
My answer to this: Well, maybe failing to start at planning stage is a good sign, after all.
If you write a business plan the right way, you might discover whether your idea is feasible enough to be built upon into a successful business. You might also discover that what seemingly a brilliant business idea can’t be a made into a brilliant business.
Business plan helps you to discover what’s unseen when you start a business without any plans. Unlike what many believe, business plan helps “laid-back entrepreneurs” to gather courage and take action based on calculated risks – these calculated risks are discovered while you are writing a business plan.
Business plan is your guide when you are feeling lost
Entrepreneurs are so busy, that they lose sight to what they have planned for their business. This is where a business plan plays an important role: To help you re-focus to the initial plan. If you don’t have a business plan, what to consult on when you are feeling lost?
In my webpreneurship journey, I have a business plan to consult with whenever I feel lost. In webpreneurship, you feel lost quite often – the trends shift quickly and catching up to the trends often makes me forget what’s important in my ‘blueprint’ – to build a business empire and make money online in automated manner.
I often catch myself doing errands that take 80% of my time to create 20% of my business income, whereas 80% of my income is created by only 20% of my time – Pareto’s Law in action.
To “realign” myself, I need to consult to the business plan I have. I do this all the time and it works wonder.
Do I need a 30-page business plan?
No! A one-page business plan is just enough for a start. You need to treat your business plan like a diary… or a business journal… or a blog – you update it while you are at your entrepreneurial journey.
You might want to start writing a business plan by answering this simple question: “Why would I want to start this business?”
From the simple question you can explore deeper along the way, such as writing mission statement and doing simple market analysis, location analysis, financial analysis, business operation analysis and other analysis. You can simply analyse your own personal observation or hire someone to do research for you.
Don’t take this as professional advice, but rather a friendly suggestion from fellow entrepreneur: You don’t have to make a “formalised” business plan. Forget tables and graphs and such – what you need to do is some informal write-ups about your recent observation and discovery. It’s for your own benefit – have it your way.
However, You do need a formal business plan when you request for business financing to investors and financial institutions – all with supporting data presented in tables or graphs with well-formed paragraphs and well-thought sentences; your aim: Convince investors and financial institutions to fund your startup.
Write a business plan today!
Again, start writing your plan today. Even if your business has already been launched, you still need a business plan – so start doing some write-ups.
The idea is whenever you feel you are losing direction – which is normal as you are busy doing the things to make your business run smoothly – you can consult to your business plan to see what you have initially planned for your business. I don’t know how about you, but this helps me a lot!
Any thoughts? Please share yours by commenting to this article.
I’m consulting with my business plan