1. Partners, investors and lenders will not touch you without a business plan.
If you’re interested in applying for small business loans or grants, you must write a business plan. Also, if you’re looking for partners or investors, they’ll want to see the true potential of your business so they know what they’re getting into. To do this effectively, you’ll need to write a business plan.
Click the links below to read my two-part interview with a small business lender who shed some light on the importance of business plans.
- Part I: What You Need to Know About Qualifying for a Small Business Loan
- Part II: So You Think Writing a Business Plan Is Not Necessary?
Read what my client, Kendra Cook, the new owner of Heartland Country Resort, said about her business plan:
“I was confident in my presentation, I was proud to present such a professionally detailed plan, along with my other documents … the confidence and peace of mind, knowing that I had a well written and aesthetically appealing business plan provided so much on my important day [meeting with the lending institution]. Also, I find myself asking others if they need an attachment of my business plan, because I’m so proud if it, I am trying to send it to everyone!”
2. A business plan helps you take action.
Writing a business plan requires a great deal of research and focus. It also helps you plan out short-, mid- and long-term goals that are measurable and specific. These goals will help plan your next steps.
3. A business plan will uncover new ideas.
As mentioned, you’re going to do a great deal of research when writing your business plan. This research will undoubtedly uncover new ideas for products and services you never even realized could be money-makers for your business.
4. A business plan keeps you on track.
As business owners, we can sometimes stray from idea to idea without ever really executing anything. A business plan will serve as your road map, guiding you from goal to goal. Business plans are not etched in stone, but they are good to help keep your eyes on the prize.
Check out what my client, Monica Green, owner of a hair salon, said about how she’ll use her business plan:
“My business plan is a very clear road map for me to follow. I will also be able to share this with potential funders and get access to capital.”
Pull out a piece of paper and jot down why you decided to write a business plan. Is it because someone told you to do so? Are you seeking funding or need a plan of action? Whatever the reason, write it down.
On that same piece of paper, write down how you will use your business plan to benefit your company. If the why and how are the same, go ahead and still write it down.
Your sheet should look something like this:
I’m writing a business plan because the bank asked for it.
My business plan will help me qualify for a small business loan to cover marketing costs.
Once you’ve answered both questions, stick the piece of paper in a place where you’ll see it everyday. This will help keep you focused and push you to finish your plan. If you know why you need to write a business plan, you’ll be more compelled to finish it in a timely manner.
P.S. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to get your copy of the “Short and Simple Business Plan Writing Guide.” It walks you through the core components of a business plan and shares some insight on how you should present your information for the best results.