Why A Business Plan Is The Essential Item For Any Start-up
When starting a business, there’s a lot of things to think about. There seems to be a never ending to do list pre-launch, and a mix of excitement and fear of the unknown definitely seems to be a common theme amongst start-ups. What if there was a way you could harness that excitement, be less fearful of the unknown, and bring your to-do list down to your most important tasks that you know will make your business grow? Sounds nice, right? Luckily, this is actually all very possible, with the help of a clear and concise business plan.
Maybe you’ve actually considered creating a business plan, or even started creating one. Maybe you put it in the ‘too hard’ basket. After all, you’ve heard that some people went on to create successful businesses without a faint idea how they were going to make their business grow and make money. However, I want you to understand that these people are an exception, not the rule. There may be plenty of anecdotal advice out there that business plans are a ‘waste of time’ – but facts and figures tell a very different story. A study of over 11,000 businesses found that businesses that had a business plan grew 30% faster than those that didn’t. That’s a whole lot of growth.
If you’re now a few years into business, and still don’t have a business plan, you might be wondering if you’ve missed the train. Luckily for you, that same study found that creating a business plan helped existing companies even more so than start-ups. So no matter where you are in your business journey, you too can reap the many benefits that can come from having a business plan. But what benefits actually are there? And how can you create one that isn’t tedious and overwhelming? Let’s dive into this and more with our guide to business plans.
What business doesn’t need or want some extra funds to help them through start-up or to grow? With a business plan, you know how a ready guide to show investors and banks exactly how your business plans to make money (and pay them back!)
If you were investing in a business, or deciding to give a loan to one, would you be more inclined to give it to the person who has a plan for what their business is doing and where their going, or someone who is just ‘winging it’? Most banks require you to have a concise business plan that details exactly how you plan on bringing in revenue for them to even consider giving you a loan. A business plan opens so many funding opportunities for your business, which everyone could do with a little more of.
Keeping Track Of KPI’s & Goals
What are your goals for the first, or your next year, of business? If you answer with ‘make money’ – but you’re not exactly sure how much or when you will be making it, or worse, how, you are in dire need of a business plan. A business plan helps you identify exactly what you need to be doing in the next year to get where you need to be. What goals you should be aiming for in the next week, month and year. What KPI’s you need to be tracking? Revisiting your business plan often can help you see what you have achieved and adjust KPI’s and goals accordingly.
Know Your Numbers
Having a business plan means knowing exactly what your expenses will look like, and in turn, exactly what sort of revenue you need to be making. When breaking down your costs in business plan, and what sort of wage you would like to be paying yourself, you can see exactly what you need to be charging customers, and how much revenue needs to come in for you to stay afloat. This can help with keeping on top of your goals and KPI’s as mentioned before, too.
A Marketing Plan That Converts
If you have decided on your niche or ideal customer, marketing plans seem to become a lot easier. Luckily for you, this is a staple part of creating a business plan. A business plan acts like a little guidebook on your business, and that includes your customers too. Your business plan should include an Ideal Client Avatar, which is a complete rundown of who to sell to. Using this ICA, you will take that with you through every marketing choice you make in your business.
Get Clear On Your Products and Services
When someone asks you what you sell, can you tell them in a sentence? In less than 10 seconds? If you can’t it might be time to get clearer on your products and services. When creating a business plan, it forces you to get real about your business. It can give you a good dose of reality check, but it also can identify clearly exactly what your business is all about. Products and services that you offer should be niched down, and having a business plan can help you identify that niche.
Ready to create your own business plan? Whether you’re a start-up or you’re well into your business, it’s never too late to create a killer business plan that will help you make money, get clear on your products and services and help you create an amazing marketing plan.
Our ‘My Business Plan’ mini e-course and workbook is the perfect way to create a plan without getting overwhelmed and confused. Our business plan mini course and workbook takes you through every single step of creating a business plan that you can use to track your marketing, track your products, create goals and KPI’s, keep track of your budget and so much more.
Creating a profitable business and everlasting brand has never being made into such simple steps with this fill-in-the-blanks business plan tailored to small businesses. Get your copy now.