If you want to start a business that has any shot of success, one of the best things you can do is research to determine if your business might be a success. This might seem confusing, but it will be less so when you realize that we’re talking about creating a business plan. Writing out a business plan can make or break your business before you even start creating it.
A business plan is a written (or typed, depending on your preference) document that will describe how your business will go about determining its objectives and how it will achieve said objectives. This plan typically acts as a guideline for the business to use to help them stay on task towards their goals. It can be used internally or externally, but it should be used. Additionally, if you’re hoping to source external funding for your business, you will need to have a business plan—most lenders won’t even contemplate lending funds to an upcoming business unless you can show them an extensive business plan. Make sure that you’re periodically updating your business plan, as well. By doing this, you’ll make sure that you’re staying relevant and staying on track with your current business goals.
There are specific ways to make business plans (and there are many templates online to help you get started), but the best business plans tend to include information about:
An executive summary
Services and products that you hope to sell/promote
Analysis and strategy for your marketing plan
How you plan to use any funding you receive
A financial plan
Most business plans tend to run up to 20 pages, so they are not meant to be lightweight documents. You should be putting the same amount of care into your business plan as you will put into chasing your business’s success.