A business plan is a guide that allows you to outline your goals and lays out a plan to work towards their achievement. If you have a business plan, great! Now is the perfect time to refresh and reboot for the new year and prepare for changes ahead. Your business is not static and your business plan should not be either. If you do not have a business plan consider this example.
Think of the life of your business as a road trip. The journey doesn’t truly begin until you have a destination, otherwise you run the risk of traveling aimlessly. Once a destination is settled you can prepare and plan accordingly. Along the way there may be detours, but as long as you know which direction you’re going you can reach your goal.
Your business plan will serve you in the same way providing both clarity in a destination and direction for processes in your business.
Do you know your company’s destination and the resources needed to reach it? Do you clearly know and understand what your business has set out to achieve? Most importantly, do you know precisely what you need to do each month, each week, and each day, to make meaningful progress towards this end goal? If you do not have this clarity, a business plan can help you define your business, validate your business model, and lay out the steps to execute the overall plan.
Surprises, obstacles, and obstructions, are all but inevitable in your entrepreneurial journey and will take your business off course, somewhere, somehow. Many businesses get off course and stay off course. As a result, resources get depleted, opportunities are missed, and mistakes are made. However, a business plan will help you gain the direction you need to accomplish your goals no matter the setbacks. It will help you decide where to go next to ensure you stay on the path to your long-term destination.
Having a well defined business plan to navigate both a destination and a direction for your business allows you to:
- Analyze results. Using your business plan you can measure and track progress and identify obstacles to your goals.
- Make strategic decisions. Once you clearly define the goals in a business plan, making strategic decisions that align with those goals become simplified and new opportunities will present themselves.
- Grow the business faster. Let these goals serve as an intricate part of your business’s design and by implementing plans to meet your goals you will be on the path to success.
- Raise funding. Investors need to know you have a solid direction for your business. Building a good business plan can show them how you plan to make use of investments though attainable goals and helps build confidence around your business.
All of which support your business’s long-term success. Many of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world focus on the long-term rather than the short-term. Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet, Sir Richard Branson, Bill Gates are just a few great examples.
Take an honest look at how you are running your business? Consider operating like a successful entrepreneur, following a custom, methodical business plan that will help you build revenues, lay the foundation for the necessary infrastructure for your long-term growth, and win the support of your team and stakeholders.
In summary, to succeed as an entrepreneur, you’ll want to have a business plan with a clear vision of what you want to achieve. Then you need to create a step-by-step game plan to get there. Because you can’t go from A to Z without achieving B, C, D… The key being that you must plan ahead and execute on the weekly, monthly, and annual goals that you must accomplish to ultimately achieve your end goal.
Written by the Launch and Balance Consulting LLC Tech Team Members