Do I Really Need a Business Plan?

Writing a business plan not only helps you to establish whether your idea is a viable one but it also helps you to lay out a direction for the future of your company. Without it, your business could simply meander along with no real direction and with no means of measuring its success.

It may not be an easy process but going through with writing a plan could force you to think carefully about your business overall and whether the model will work. Once complete, you’ll have a much better idea of whether you can make your venture work and whether you still really want to go ahead with it. Before you invest your own time and money into any idea, wouldn’t you rather have done a plan first to make sure that you know it can work?

There is now software available which can help you with writing a plan so it does not need to be such a mind-boggling task. There are online sites and a whole host of self-help resources out there which will help you to draw up a plan and carry out an analysis of your proposed ideas.

To carry out just a quick assessment or executive summary of a business idea will only give you a very brief overview and will not go into enough depth about whether the business could be viable should any extenuating factors get in the way – and let’s face it, there will be many!

In your business plan, you can expand it to include critical factors such as contingencies should you need them. You can work other factors into it that needn’t be too complicated but will give you a good idea of where you might be in, say, five years’ time. It will help to focus your mind on your goal and show others how you plan to keep yourself afloat.

And once you have your plan, it is never lost. All good projects or ideas start out with a plan. The plan then changes as it goes along if need be and you can keep reverting back to the original plan to track and measure your successes or failures.

Of course, having a plan does not ensure success and some would argue that a full business plan for a small venture is not necessary; that your time would be better spent on getting your business up and running rather than worrying yourself with laborious documents. However, you can make your plan as minimal or as in depth as it needs to be, according to the size of your proposed venture.

But bear in mind that, as with any plan, it could be seen as a restrictor and actually remove the entrepreneurial spirit in which the business idea was first created. You should always remember than any plan can be broken, changed or amended at any time and that it’s important for small business owners not to lose the importance of free will.

So, ‘to plan or not to plan?’ – that is the question.