As we explore the markets, we are shocked to see startups, pop shops, small business owners, and entrepreneurs with no idea how important a business plan is. Not just important, but beneficial through the lifetime of your business. Operating a business without a business plan is like building a house without a blueprint. But, we don’t do it alone. As a business owner, it’s up to you to make most of your business plan. Here are a few ways we share when skeptics ask how to use a business plan.
– Attract Investors & Lenders
So many businesses give up entirely on the concept of investors. “It’s too hard” or even “my business isn’t good enough”. Both of these may have an element of reality to them, but overall, no. There are risks and benefits in many aspects of business, but if you neglect to have a business plan, you’re not even trying to get investors to notice.
How to use a business plan regarding investments is by creating an executive statement that addresses the need that you are solving. Don’t obsess on numbers, or being unique, or even being the first in your market. Chances are, you’re not. But, you may very well provide what people need and that is what investors specialize in.
– Be Ready for Pressure
It’s incredible to see how minor tweaks made in how something is done can have a monumental impact on the result. Use your business plan to identify where things can be achieved at a better cost or more efficiently. It’s nearly impossible to address all potential possibilities without laying it out in a business plan.
– Plan Your Prospects
Take the guesswork out of potential partners and employees. Affecting hiring starts with knowing exactly what you’re looking for. A business plan aligns your vision and values. You want all potential prospect to do the same. Save time on interviews and land the perfect employees and partners by defining exactly what it is your business needs now and later.
– Prepare for Failure
We don’t want to admit it, but failure is an entirely possible outcome to starting a business. You cannot ignore it, nor pretend it doesn’t exist. There is a chance of you failing. It happens. But, it doesn’t have to end tragically. Don’t lose your house and life savings with a sinking ship. But more importantly, do not lose your head. You are not the first one, nor will you be the last one to fail. Be stoic and prioritize the solutions to each of the problems that caused you to fail. Use your exit strategy to count your loses without losing everything.