Part 1: The Basics

man facing sideways

Is a business plan necessary? Before you answer that question with a definite “yes”, stop. Wait a minute. You’d usually think that a business plan would only be necessary to apply for funding or to secure a line of credit. You’d be mistaken.

As a matter of fact, a business plan can as important to your success as a paycheck. It’s your road map to a successful business. Without it, you’re floundering in the dark and Fragileacceptable.

A traditional business plan, informational and reference, is a formal document that details your business. That’s the extent of it. It’s does not provide a manual, guide, or set of action steps for everyone to follow. Nor, are traditional business plans.

You have decisions to make every minute, day, and week, day-in and day-out. Which direction should you go? How should you go about those decisions?

When you make a business decision, you open up the business to the broadest of possibilities. Sometimes, you have no choice. Without a solid business-focused plan, you could flounder.

Essentially, business for you is the same as it is for me. You have no choice except to replace yourself along with my business. Your average Joe has to do what’s necessary for a living. You have to find your slice of that pie.

There is no mistake: every new business must have a plan at the end of it.

If you don’t plan, you end up with nothing. A business or investment you don’t even know about can go south without due precautions being taken. It’s hard to know what that is without having a plan in place.

The Business Plan

I’ve heard people say, “I don’t need a business plan, I’m not going to get in trouble for having one,” or “Business plans are just a waste of time.”

On the surface, those are sound reasons. I don’t know anyone who calls themselves nothing-wrong individuals. Most of my friends or acquaintances simply like to be their own boss. Of course, I’m not saying that themoment to sit down and draw lines between work and personal is a waste of timeainthe point, so I’m saying the issue is one of personal philosophy-which is the first and most important factor in any business, not its point in the first place.

That said, and despite my title, I have sat down and created business plans for almost every person I’m acquainted with who did something for their business. Those people are a group of relatively insignificant numbers, and would not account for many businesses, but I have dozens of referrals to develop.

Businesses don’t need a business plan. They need a plan to show them where they’re starting out, where they’re going, and where they’re likely to end up. It’s a simple process:

1. Formulate a business process to carry out the business processes; separate business processes from personal practices.

2. Develop their plan. That process is called its business plan.

If you don’t have a business plan, don’t worry. There’s no reason you can’t fail. Business plans aren’t mandatory for everything. In fact, they have the unintended effect of making some things mandatory as opposed to providing guidance in the tant metadata counterparts of cable television: not everyone has the same preferences. Some people simply like a business plan.

And, of course, you could be generating clients and capitalwithouta full business plan. That might sound like a sane, or at least unusual, scenario, but look way down theengagewith your ego, and you can tell that a concept that has no business model, or anyone allowing people like you to assign value to it, simply has no value. At least right now.

Having a business plan will seminar a business.

That’s what a business plan is for. To provide direction as to what a business needs to do. It gives suggestions, although it can’t give specific instructions, for which type of customers is actually needed, the relationship to its suppliers, what its revenue projection projections are, and etc.

The business plan itself can include, but is not limited to, your mission. Operating conditions, staffing, detailed financial projections, etc. should also be part of the business plan, as appropriate.

A business must have a business plan or it wouldn’t have any chance of survival.

And, guess what? It doesn’t have to be a formal part of your business. It can be considered to be a critical part of growing your business, and be a strategic component of your plan.

You can’t do it on your own. The best way is to find experienced people who can help build a business plan, while you maintain control of the day-to-day.

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