Why Do a Business Plan?

To Grow (Catapult) Your Business That’s Why.

When it’s in your head it’s not as likely to happen–too much missed.

Before becoming an executive business coach, in my previous career as an electrical engineer I discovered some key practical things about business planning that showed me how to explode the growth of a business.

When I was in college if I was asked to design something my designs always worked….on paper.

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Top 8 Reasons You Need A Business Plan

There are, in reality, three primary reasons you need to have a business plan. Publishers, and a certain number of consumers, like to see Top 10 lists, so I arbitrarily chose Top 8 Reasons, just to be different.

Gleaned from years of working with a variety of business in putting market strategies and business plans together, here are three of the main benefits to you, as a business owner, for having a business plan:

1) Risk Prevention. What? If you’ve been in business for any length of time, and paid for advertising to promote your business, can you quantify how much revenue that advertising has generated for your business? Spending ad dollars to reach potential consumers is a risky gamble that can be prevented with a little research, identification of your market, and an effective marketing strategy. These are all elements of your business plan.

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Starting a Business: Plan the Work, Work the Plan

One of the most common questions we hear from potential entrepreneurs is “Where do I start?” The short answer is Plan Your Business. You don’t need a formal, extensive business plan at the earliest stages, but you do need to have a clear idea of the business idea. That is, you should know what a typical workday will look like, who your customers will be, how they will find and buy from you, where you want the company to go, and the like. Planning your startup will also give you a good idea of how much money you will need to get your venture off the ground and force you to think through any potential obstacles in your way. Here are a few options to get your business planning started.

There are hundreds of free business plan templates available on the web. They all cover basically the same topics, and most include the broad areas that you need to consider to really plan your business. However, many first-time entrepreneurs have trouble actually making a plan from these templates, and for good reason.

In general, those outlines are useful once you already have a pretty clear plan in mind and just need to organize it for the bank or investors. They do not help you decide what to look for, or how to evaluate your idea, or even really explain what each section means. For most startups, the ready-made, fill-in business plan forms are not the best option.

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