No matter how small your business idea, a business plan can help you build the confidence you need to get to opening day. Business planning is not just for large or high-growth ventures, and it really shouldn’t be put off until you need to borrow money.
As healthy as the planning is, many small and microbusiness owners will put it off as long as they can. And it’s easy to understand why. Business planning involves the tedious process of organizing your thoughts and getting them onto paper, more likely into a word processor. It includes a whole whack of potentially unfamiliar activities, such as researching, writing and building a credible set of financial projections.
Indeed, why would anyone knowingly put themselves through such pain? Thankfully, the benefits far outweigh any negatives. Here 11 ways you will win by taking the time to develop a business plan:
- You know where you’re going
- You will have a roadmap or blueprint for your business
- You will have a document to look back on in order to measure your progress
- A plan will help protect your investment and equity from loss
- You will find out if your idea will work
- You can discover and solve problems before starting the business
- You will build confidence in your business idea
- The plan can help you get financing
- You become the expert for your business
- You will prove your business case
- You will have a document to use for communicating with others, family, partners, investors, bankers
Business planning can appear larger than it really is, until you step up and embrace it. Think of it as a cost-effective learning process for anyone aspiring to operate a successful business in today’s complex global work environment. A business plan can be a giant step toward making your dream business a reality.
Planning your business doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time or money, and you don’t have to go it alone. Two local agencies that do a great job of helping entrepreneurs get started are the Community Futures Development Corporation at 562-9622, and the Aboriginal Business Development Centre at 562-6325.
Whether you are thinking of starting, buying or growing a business, I urge you to first develop a business plan. Once you take the plunge, you might just have fun doing it!
After all, it is you who really wins with a business plan.