From the authors of Mom Inc, Amy Ballon & Danielle Botterell
In our conversations with entrepreneurs, we’ve met many people opposed to writing a business plan. Why would this be? Because they’re not looking for outside investors? Because it’s a dry, time-consuming, somewhat arbitrary exercise? It might seem that way, but consider this: The biggest beneficiary of your business plan is YOU! We are strong believers in writing a business plan, so let’s talk about why you need one.
- Make your dream a reality. Writing a business plan forces you to take a good, hard look at what you’re in for and what you’re up against. By planning it out on paper, you are taking a mere idea and starting to turn it into a real business.
- Is your idea a good one? A business plan is intended to demonstrate how your business will make money and provide returns on the initial investment. It’s an exercise in laying out the potential for profit and for risk of your business venture and for looking at the ways you are uniquely positioned to win at the game of business.
- Create a blueprint for your new business. A business plan covers all aspects of your business: your industry, competitors, sales and marketing activities, operations and financial activities. Thinking about all facets of your business allows you to create a road map for yourself. Once you’ve got a map, all you have to do is follow it.
- Force yourself to look at your business from 360 degrees. People are often enamoured with one aspect of their new business and can neglect other important aspects. For example, some entrepreneurs spend a lot of time and effort developing the perfect product, but don’t think enough about how they’re going to market it. Writing a business plan forces you to look at your business from all angles.
- You want to be taken seriously. A business plan demonstrates to other people that you’ve thought your idea through. If you want the world to view your business as a serious endeavor, taking the time to write your business plan is a great place to start.
If you need to borrow money, a business plan is essential. Lenders expect you to have a business plan just like a recruiter expects you to have a résumé when you’re applying for a job. But doesn’t it sound like a pretty worthwhile use of a few days even if you’re only investing your own cash? If nothing else, a business plan will help you articulate your own language about your business.
Please visit www.mominc.ca to see a sample business plan and other resources on business planning.
– Amy Ballon & Danielle Botterell
Here are Amy & Danielle’s 5 questions to ask yourself to figure out if self-employment is for you.
Here are Amy & Danielle’s 5 ways to test your business idea