Why You Need a Business Plan (Even If You Don’t Need Funding)
Thanks to the internet, many entrepreneurs and small businesses owners do not need funding in order to start their business. In some cases, their investment is simply starting up and maintaining a website in order to sell products or services. While these types of businesses may not need funding, what they do need is a solid business plan. In this post, we’re going to look at the reasons why you should create a business plan for your business, even if you don’t need funding for it.
1. A business plan helps you define your business.
Do you have trouble coming up with information about your business for your website, social profiles, or other collateral? If so, the General Company Description portion of your business plan will help. The questions for this section will help you define your mission statement, history, strengths, challenges, and long term plans. Once you have created answered each of these questions, you will have a strong profile that you can use online and offline to describe your business.
2. A business plan forces you to outline your products and services in detail.
Can you describe the products and services you offer quickly to anyone? The Products and Services portion of your business plan will help you do just that. It will guide you through creating an in-depth description of your products and services, including your competitive advantages and pricing.
3. A business plan guides you through the market research process.
Do you know who your target customer is? Do you know how large the market is for your products and services? If the answer to either is no, then the Marketing Plan portion can help. It starts by introducing you to simple market research tactics. Ultimately, it will allow you to define the economics of your overall market, create a buyer persona for your products and services, and compare your business against your competitors.
4. A business plan brings to light things you might not have thought of before.
If you have an online-only business, you may not need to think about a lot of operational things like workplace regulations and zoning. But you will still need to think about things like insurance coverage, trademarks, copyrights, patents, personnel structure, and inventory. The Operational portion of your plan will help you consider these and other things you may not have yet considered for your business.
5. A business plan helps you get your finances in order.
How much do you see your business making in the next twelve months? How much do you owe in debt? How much are your monthly expenses? Do you anticipate any issues with cash flow? The Financial portion of your plan will help you answer these questions so that you have an accurate picture of your business’s finances and can make decisions accordingly, such as finding a backup source of immediate funding for when you need it.
Are you ready to create a business plan for your business? You can start with these free templates for both startups and established businesses. Each contains 150 questions that will help you define and plan your business.