Business plans range from 20 to 50 pages in length, but, typically, they all contain the same sections.You’ll find detailed overviews of what to include within each section by looking at sample business plans and going to online sources.And surviving over the long term in business has far more to do with guts and persistence than it does a golden business plan.
Marin often mentions to his clients that a business plan is a “living document.” He encourages his clients not to just put the business plan away on the bookshelf.
In fact, Marin encourages business owners and managers to keep their business plan under their pillow.
Without a business plan, you may shift your short-term strategies constantly without a view to your long-term milestones.14. Partners also want to see a business plan, in order to determine whether it is worth partnering with your business.
Establishing partnerships often requires time and capital, and companies will be more likely to partner with your venture if they can read a detailed explanation of your company.15. Creating the business plan helps to define your company’s role in the marketplace. A well-documented marketing plan is essential to the growth of a business.19.
Would you tell your spouse that you tweaked the company brochure? But you’d certainly share the news that you launched your new website or reached $1M in annual revenues.3. Creating the business plan forces you to analyze the competition. What are the most important trends in your industry? Creating the business plan will help you to gain a wider, deeper, and more nuanced understanding of your marketplace.12. To attract and retain top quality talent, a business plan is necessary.
All companies have competition in the form of either direct or indirect competitors, and it is critical to understand your company’s competitive advantages.4. The business plan inspires employees and management that the idea is sound and that the business is poised to achieve its strategic goals.13. The business plan provides a roadmap from which to operate, and to look to for direction in times of doubt. This is a critical question to answer in writing, for yourself and your investors. This process is essential for raising capital for business and for effectively employing the capital.9. A formal business plan is the basis for financing proposals. The process of creating the business plan helps to minimize opportunity costs. The business plan creation process helps you to determine exactly how much capital you need and what you will use it for. To reduce the risk of pursuing the wrong opportunity.Marin said that it is not necessary to rewrite the business plan but rather, “it should be updated to reflect any changes with the product offering, the industry, or the company itself.”In cases where a company is planning to introduce a new line of business, it is critical to understand how that line of business will fit within the company’s long-term strategy, operations, marketing, and within its target market.In cases where there is a need to purchase equipment or real estate to support sales increases, it is important to update your business plan to reflect how the increased sales affect your balance sheet in terms of borrowing and assets.To reposition your business to deal with changing conditions. Rather, your business plan provides a roadmap for your staffing needs, and thus helps to ensure smoother expansion.20. Through the process of brainstorming, white-boarding and creative interviewing, you will likely see your business in a different light.For example, during difficult economic conditions, if your current sales and operational models aren’t working, you can rewrite your business plan to define, try, and validate new ideas and strategies.18. As a result, you will often come up with new ideas for marketing your product/service and running your business.This definition allows you to succinctly describe the business and position the brand to customers, investors, and partners.16. A formal business plan allows you to compare actual operational results versus the business plan itself. To understand and forecast your company’s staffing needs.In this way, it allows you to clearly see whether you have achieved your strategic, financing, and operational goals (and why you have or have not).17. After completing your business plan, you will not be surprised when you are suddenly short-handed.There's nothing better than seeing that wide-eyed look, ready to take on the world.And selfishly, seeing that sort of enthusiasm makes me feel motivated all over again. However, along with those words of encouragement are also words of warning. Sure, it can be a great guide, but that's not your compass.