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.
People who read your business plan will already know a little bit about your business because they read your executive summary. But this chapter is still hugely important because it`s where you expand on your initial overview, providing more details and answering additional questions that you won`t cover in the executive summary.
And you don`t have to start with the full, detailed business plan that I`m going to describe here. In fact, it can be much easier to start with a simple, one-page business plan—what we call a Lean Plan—and then come back and build a slightly longer, more detailed business plan later.
Often the biggest decisions you`ll make for your business are amidst volatile periods of growth, decline, or even external crises. This requires you to make highly consequential decisions far more quickly than you may like. Without up-to-date planning and forecast information, these decisions may be less certain or strategic than they need to be.
Defining the problem you are solving for your customers is by far the most critical element of your business plan and crucial for your business success. If you can`t pinpoint a problem that your potential customers have, then you might not have a viable business concept.
Do not misunderstand, these are important inclusions in your plan; however, during the early stages of drafting, it is important to create a broad vision that can be adapted once your specifics have been identified.