Why is a Business Plan So Important to Your Success?

A good business  plan  is the most important but often overlooked part of running, starting and expanding a successful business, and obtaining finance for a business. If a  plan  is written properly, running a business and obtaining finance is much easier, leaving less room for error and failure. While you cannot predict everything that can happen in a company’s future, a good  plan  helps you avoid certain pitfalls and overcome obstacles, while anticipating and creating opportunities.

There are different  plan  formats for various circumstances. A comprehensive  plan  will help you run your business venture or project more successfully. There are also specialized  plans  for various purposes, such as a funding  plan  for a bank, investor or venture capital firm.

The business  planning  process is very important. It is a building block system that is continuous, systematic and comprehensive. It involves the entire company, produces effective decision making, and executes those decisions effectively in a strategic  plan . A good  plan  also measures the relationship between expectations and performance. It evaluates your company’s progress or lack thereof.

It is said, writing an effective business  plan  is more art than science. It is good to have a proven process and format, but you can’t just fill in the blanks on a master  planning  program or document. It is a matter of asking yourself the right questions within the proven process and format that brings about a successfully written business  plan .

The comprehensive  plan  that I develop has eight sections: the executive summary, company overview, management and operations, marketing strategy and  plan , strategic and sales  plan , financials and appendix. I amend the eight section  plan  for specialized  plans , like the funding  plan .

The organization of the business  plan  is quite important. The eight section business  plan  is in a specific order from which each section builds on the previous section. There is fluid thought and reasoning employed to achieve a business  plan  which reaches its specified purpose. Although I wrote that the executive summary is the first section, it should be written last. All the other sections should be written in the order they are listed. A  plan  contains a very precise and concise format and is organized into numbered sections and sub-sections, which contain specific information in short, paragraph form.

A business  plan  is a dynamic document, as it changes on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. By being able to access it on your company computer network and online, various key people within the company can use and update it easily and effectively. For a Business  Plan  to be successful, it must be intertwined into the fabric of your business, have a detailed implementation schedule and be carefully tracked.

A well written and implemented business  plan  can do a lot of things, including: running, expanding or starting a successful business; be readily changed, adapted and updated to suit market conditions; be a fantastic sales tool; obtain funding; react quickly to market changes; give you the ability to make realistic forecasts and projections; seize market opportunities; establish and sustain your competitive advantage; and more.

Always consider hiring an experienced business consultant and planner to help develop, write and most importantly, implement your business  plan .