But, if you’re embarking on a more significant endeavor that’s likely to consume a significant amount of time, money, and resources, then you need a business plan.Every business has long-term and short-term goals, sales targets, and expense budgets—a business plan encompasses all of those things and is as useful to a startup trying to raise funds as it is to a 10-year-old business that’s looking to grow.
Planning should always be the first step in developing a business.
A plan gives your business direction and helps you prepare for a lot of what you may need to overcome in the future.
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The plan goes on forever, meaning that you’re constantly tweaking it, because you’re regularly evaluating your business health, so the printed version is like a snapshot of what the plan was on the day that it was printed.
Specifically, it’s the time to review your progress on milestones and to compare your actuals against your financial projections.
Our Starting a business guide takes you through each step of starting a business and helps you understand what's ahead.
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Since investors have very little time to read detailed business plans, a simple one-page plan is often a better approach to get that first meeting.
Later in the process, a more detailed plan will be needed, but the one-page plan is great for getting in the door.