Are you still unsure whether a business plan is worth the time and investment? Can`t you just jump right into starting and running your business? You could, but you`ll be missing out on some key benefits that a business plan provides.
If you expect to be the market leader in 2 years, you need to demonstrate why this is possible and how you`ll meet this goal. If you say your product will be viral, you have to support this statement with facts and a strong analysis explaining why people will like your product or service and how they`ll help you promote it.
Now, you may not have every milestone or even specific steps in mind to reach your goals before starting. But that`s the beauty of working through your business plan. It will help you define metrics of success, flesh out your goals and further develop elements of your business to meet specific objectives. You just need a vision or even aspirational goals to start with to better hone in on what`s important.
The most common mistake by far is on profits. Startups that grow don`t produce profits. Investors make money on valuation increases, not profits. Real businesses rarely produce more than single-digit profits. Big profit projections are sophomoric. Take all those profits and dump them into marketing expenses and you`ll be better off.
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.
Things like: Could you grow faster with more money? What are your headcount assumptions? How much are you spending on marketing expenses? What are you assuming for payments and collections lags?