Do I need a business plan?

Lots of small businesses ask this, especially if they are not seeking finance, and there is no short answer, other than… it definitely can’t hurt!

What is it?

In it’s simplest form, a business plan is just a document where you organise all your ideas, goals, and plans. It could include your market research, customer profiles, a marketing plan, PR opportunities, costings, financial projections, potential threats to your business, suppliers, your competition, the problems your product solves, and so on.

The more detail you include in your business plan, the better it will work for you. And if you are risking your own money, or applying for finance, then you should consider every minute you spend on it an investment.

A Business plans doesn’t have to be long or complicated. It could just consist of a page or two, or form an entire booklet. And it doesn’t just apply to start-ups either, often they are used to prove the viability of a new product or brand too.

The benefits

A good business plan will prove your businesses viability. It will give you clarity on what you plan to achieve, and show up weakness in your idea so you can fix them before risking too much of your time or money. The more objective you can be the better. It’s easy to get all wrapped up in the excitement of your new business, but if you misread the market, or don’t conduct unbiased research, then you could end up losing a lot of money.

It can also offer reassurance when you hit a stumbling block. Just go back to your business plan and refocus on what you set out to achieve and how you planned to achieve it.

Don’t be scared to highlight issues

If your business plan throws up problems then it’s doing a good job. Knowing the problems you might come across will give you a chance to anticipate solutions and find a fix well in advance of it being too late. This is especially important as two of the top reasons that start-ups fail include insufficient market research and a lack of funds. A good business plan would identify both these problems and offer plenty of time to fix them.

Suddenly discovering you have run out of money because you forgot to factor in a Summer lull is not an easy problem to solve when you are 6 months in!

How would your business benefit from an experienced business coach?

You shouldn’t have to fight your way through conflicting and confusing advice. We’ll support and guide you so you can make clear, confident decisions. Book a discovery call with us now and find out how we can help you find a clear path!