And if you’re looking for finance, then a business plan can make a difference.Rebecca Mc Neil, CEO at Close Brothers Motor Finance, says: “A strong plan can help applications for finance from a business loan to alternative forms of finance and investment.” If it’s so helpful, why don’t more people choose to have a business plan?
Therefore, even if you're not raising money, you should still write a plan to get everyone talking and working towards a common goal.: Don't use a consultant to write your plan, because your plan should reflect your blood and sweat.
And using an outsider can be a way to lose most of the team-building value of the plan.
Remember, the intended outcome of a business plan is usually more due diligence leading to an investment. Let's be honest: You don’t know when your product will ship, much less how much you'll spend on travel four years from now.
The optimal length for your financial projections is one page. That’s a point from Clayton Christensen, the author of .
As Jennifer says: “Business planning is a continuous process – from the initial start up of any business to stage two of developing and growth of existing sales and creating new income streams.
An online search for "business plans" can yield thousands of results. Perhaps "planning" has become more important than "doing." I'd like to save you some time by explaining some of the most important characteristics of business plans.
So what are the advantages of business planning and how could it help your business to succeed? Jennifer O’Toole, senior partner at accountancy firm Thomas R Dixon, says: “.
“It lets you know where you want to go, what you want to achieve, what you have in order to achieve your goals and, probably most importantly, what problems you can expect along the way.” “Being able to identify potential threats, problem areas that could affect the business, and to be able to develop coping strategies in a proactive manner rather than in a reactive stance, is key to business survival.” It’s also a great way to share information about your business, to develop your thinking and test scenarios before you make any changes (such as leaving your job and going it alone), and it gives you a way to measure how things go when you do start up.
One purpose for writing a business plan is to raise money, but it is not the sole or most important reason to do so.
Communication and team building is also an important outcome of writing a business plan.