Without a business plan, you leave far too many things to chance. You wouldn´t assemble a piece of Ikea furniture without instructions or build a building without a blueprint, so why would you attempt to grow a business without a plan? A business plan is a blueprint for your business, your roadmap to success if you will. And it´s extremely valuable for wherever you are on your growth journey. Here are the main reasons to create a business plan.
A business plan will steer the direction of your business as you grow. Often, you create a business plan when starting a new business to create a business case or justify borrowing from a lender. It outlines how you plan to structure, run, and grow the business.
When you´re an established business, however, your plan can be used to keep you on the right path, to inform your decisions, and to project for the next 3-5 years ahead. Ideally, your plan should be reviewed regularly to make sure you´re doing what you need to do to reach your milestones.
The journey of writing a plan is often more important than the plan you end up with. Why? Because when you create a business plan, you have to question how you do things, why you do things, and what consequences you want (and don´t want) from doing these things.
Questioning the how, what, and why is incredibly powerful when it comes to business, as this is what leads to innovation and prevents complacency.
A good business plan should give you clarity on the bigger picture. It should help you to understand your business better and to think of how you want to improve it; it should help you to make impactful changes that will drive you towards achieving your goals.
As well as direction and purpose, having clarity is essential for actually achieving what you set out to.
When you create a plan, it should help you identify what needs to be improved and the things you need to measure to check that improvements are actually happening. These are your KPIs and if you measure and review these regularly, they will help you to make the right changes that will lead to sustainable growth.
They don´t just have to be professional either! You can add KPIs to improve your lifestyle as well. Taking Friday afternoons off for example could be something you want to work towards and this should be included in your plan. After all, isn´t that why you´re running your own business in the first place? To have the lifestyle you want?
An equally big part of why you create a business plan is to know why you are in business in the first place.
- What is your WHY for starting the business instead of going into employment?
- And WHAT is it that you want to achieve?
- Is it a better lifestyle for you and your family?
- To take control of your destiny so you are not at the mercy of an employer?
- To be the best at what you do instead of second-best as part of someone else’s business?
- To provide a desperately needed service?
- To bring environmentally green principles into play?
- Or just because you love doing what you do?
Your why and your personal goals should underpin your whole business and business plan, so write them down in your plan! Why? Because this will help massively with motivation and resilience. When times get tough (just think of the pandemic and the current recession), it´s easier to pick yourself up and keep trudging on when you know what it´s all for.
Want to improve your business and your lifestyle?
We can help you in many practical ways. Whether you want to book a place in our business planning workshop (details below) or you´d rather book a one-on-one meeting with us, we will help you create a business plan that turns your goals into actionable steps.
Get in touch today to move your business forward!
Set yourself up for success by business planning for 2023! Join our Business Planning Workshop on the 19th of January to create a solid business plan for the year ahead.