What is a business plan, and why do you need one?
A business plan is a written document that details how a company will achieve its goals. Few good companies last long without one. Business plans give direction to new companies, while established ones use them to determine new ventures.
A business plan should paint a clear picture of the costs and drawbacks that come with each important decision.
Rarely are two business plans identical. But most will include the following elements:
- A summary of the products or services provided
- Market analysis
- Marketing strategy
- Financial planning
- Budget, projected revenues, operating costs
- A projection of expected performance
Operating a business without a plan is like swinging on a trapeze without a net. It might work, but the benefits a plan provides are abundant. They include the chance to test a product or service, plus the opportunity to think through an idea before sinking too much money into it.