Your bank will want your Business Plan if you intend to borrow money. Beyond that, a Business Plan keeps you focused.
However, it is possible to expend so much energy writing and maintaining the Business Plan, that there is no time left to generate income. A Business Plan may be crucial if you suddenly become extremely ill or die. Most importantly, writing a plan and having it on a shelf is not going to benefit you or anyone else.
Whether you have a Business Plan or not you should be able to articulate and consistently respond to questions regarding any part of the Business Plan at any time. Even if your Business Plan is on paper and up to date, it does little good if you have to physically consult it to remember what is there. The people who are most successful in business have an intuitive sense of where they are going at any time.
If you are totally clear about your vision, you will know the answers to any question at any time without needing to think long or hard about it. Your business needs to celebrate your personal values. This enables you will be to focus much more easily. If it contradicts the principles you view as important you will be constantly frustrated and unable to achieve your goals.
A Business Plan is a road map for your business. Until you have your bearings and are really sure of where you are going, you will need to consult it often. Once you are in business, you should be able to look at the road map any time and say “yes, that is the way I got to where I am, and this is the way I go to get to my next destination.” The Business Plan should affirm that your actions were on target.
With this in mind, let’s take a moment to review the components of the business plan. Your exercise for this week will be to take a look at the part of your Business Plan that you have the most difficulty articulating. Review it, and spend some time working on it, until it is clear in your mind. Your Business Plan needs to be optimistic enough to show enthusiasm and potential and realistic enough to demonstrate that you understand the industry.