A small business plan is essential if you want to stay on track with your business, and it helps you look to the future. It may seem like a complicated and drawn-out process to draft one, however, a business plan will pay off dividends down the road. Here are 7 reasons for writing a small business plan.
1. It's Not Difficult
With a small investment, you can purchase business plan software that will help you write your business plan. These programs lay out the essential parts of a business plan, and can even create graphs or charts that you'll need. If you purchase the right software, the only other investment you'll need to put in is the time to answer guided questions.
2. It Helps You Define Your Business
Until you write out an executive summary as part of your business plan, you may not have a focused idea of what your business is. You can have a solid idea in your head, but until you put it down on paper, you might not be able to effectively articulate what your business is. Doing this can help with marketing your business to potential customers.
3. It Helps You Plan Ahead
A small business plan helps you think about your goals one month, three months, six months, one year and five years down the road. The plan can be a road map to remind you where you want to go, and how you want to get there.
4. It Keeps You Focused
Writing out your business plan and referring to it often can help keep you on task with your business. Having it written down can push you to finish those tasks that you need to tackle to keep your business growing.
5. It Helps You "Expect the Unexpected"
Your small business plan helps you anticipate your expenses better. When your business was just an idea floating around in the back of your mind, you might have left out a lot of startup costs. Putting the plan on paper will help prevent you from running into the red.
6. It Helps You Determine Your Niche
Researching the marketplace and your competition is part of the process of writing a solid business plan. When you do this research, you figure out who your competitors are, what they offer, what to charge for your services and what you can provide your customers that is unique. You want to capitalize on your unique skills to create your own niche, and your business plan research can help you figure out what it is.
7. It Helps You See the Big Picture
It's easy to get excited about your business when you're focusing on just one or two aspects of it. You need to understand there's a lot more to running a business than just those "fun parts", such as making money and working from home. Once you start figuring out your budget and long-range strategies, you'll realize there's much more to running a business. Seeing the big picture can ensure that you're not overlooking crucial aspects to running your business.
A small business plan offers many benefits to you. Now that you see some of those benefits, it's time to get to work. Schedule time in the near future to start writing one.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.