The moment we land on a business idea, we get all excited to start! I truly believe in taking fast action and being decisive. I’ve done this exact thing when I started my first business. But that isn’t always the smartest thing to do, as I would soon learn.
Why Create a Business Plan
Initially, not having someone or something to guide me on to the right path costed me a lot of pain in terms of loss of business, money, time and effort. The lack of a business plan was the culprit!
This reminds me of one of my favourite sayings by Benjamin Franklin –
“When you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”
Now, I’m not saying that you must have everything down in black and white, although that would be great! But writing down some important aspects of a business is always very helpful. Who am I to speak, you might ask? As I mentioned earlier, I’m the person who started her first business without a business plan. I started because I was told I take great pictures and I should get paid for my work.
I am also the person who started her second business with a business plan. A meticulously written out blueprint of what I want my business to look like.
When you do this exercise, you start thinking very deeply and you start to uncover gaps in your business model. You might never have thought of them, otherwise.
Start Simple, Then Build Up
Advantages of Having a Business Plan
- A plan on how to attract and serve your clients
- Creating a marketing strategy
- Pricing your products or services
- Creating your sales and income projections
- Creating your operations systems
- Planning your exit strategy
Create a Business Plan
I just wanted to bring your attention to potential business planning scams. I almost fell into one such scam when looking around for a business grant. If you’re in Canada, beware of the company leadershipgrants.ca.
They invite you to submit your business plan and set you up with a business planning consulting firm that charges $1999 to write your business plan for you.
When you do submit your business plan, they supposedly ask you for more money to actually give you a list of grantors and other investors. In all probability, they’ll take your business plan and sell it for more money! So, no matter where you are, be very careful when you’re looking for funding.
Operations and Systems
Financial Summary & Capital Requirements
It’s imperative that your business will go through ups and downs. But how well you navigate those dips and spikes will depend on how well you’ve planned for them. Having a business plan will prepare you for the inevitable rollercoaster ride that every entrepreneur takes. Make sure you build your business bottom up and lay a strong foundation. A tall building can only stand as strong as its foundation, isn’t it?