Writing a business plan may seem like a big hurdle, but it doesn`t have to be. You know your business—you`re the expert on it. For that reason alone, writing a business plan and then leveraging your plan for growth won`t be nearly as challenging as you think.
All business plans should establish strategy, tactics, milestones, tasks, assumptions, and essential numbers (projected sales, direct costs, expenses, and cash flow). All business plans should develop accountability and tracking.
Start the opportunity chapter by describing the problem that you are solving for your customers. What is the primary pain point for them? How are they solving their problems today? Maybe the existing solutions to your customer`s problem are very expensive or cumbersome. For a business with a physical location, perhaps there aren`t any existing solutions within reasonable driving distance.
Without a business plan as a baseline, it will be far more difficult to track your progress, make adjustments, and have historical information readily available to reference when making difficult decisions. Creating a business plan ensures that you have a roadmap that doesn`t just outline where you plan to go, but where you`ve already been.
But in real life, the plan related to seeking investment is a subset, a special case. Most real business plans are about managing a business and need a lot less description and research than the business plan related to seeking investment. In most cases, a lean business plan fits the business purpose best.
Investors and loan providers need to know that you have a solid understanding of the trajectory of your business. You need to prove that there is an attainable and sustainable need for your solution, that you have a strong business strategy, and that your business can be financially stable.