Writing a business plan or even thinking about doing it drums up feelings of dread. It is a bit tedious and takes some dedicated time. You may even think it isn’t really needed for your small business. But, you are wrong!
Your business will not reach its full potential if you don’t know where you are headed. You need to have your business goals written down so you can see how far you have come. It is so satisfying to look at your business plan (or goals) one year later and say, “WOW, I surpassed all of my goals!” If that is the case, it’s time to write a new business plan with bigger goals. It is an evolving thing.
Most of the time, the only reason small businesses prepare a business plan is out of necessity. They need to show it to their banker or investor to raise funds for their small business. That is fine, but this report should be a priority when starting your business. You have to AIM for something and make a plan on how to make it happen. That is what all successful entrepreneurs do.
This applies to all small businesses. You can be a blogger, an independent home consultant for one of the many companies out there selling essential oils or beauty products, an auto repair shop, or a professional attorney or accountant. It doesn’t matter which business you create, you need to have a plan in place for your growth.
What is a business plan? It is simply a list of answers to questions that people might have about your small business. It is also a forecast of where you hope to be financially within the next year, two years, and five years from now. Your business plan should include a description of your service or what products you will offer. Once you know what your business will do, the next thing you need to know is whom you are going to be doing it for. What makes your business different? You need to explain what makes your business different from other businesses in your market. How do you plan to make the business succeed? You will need to forecast expected income and expenses. This will be a bit easier if you have solid financial numbers and have been in business for a while already. It is a lot harder if your business is brand new.
This has been a brief overview. If you need more help with your business plan, doing a quick search on the Internet will bring up several ideas and templates to use. The Small Business Administration has this great tool to use. Remember, if you are truly determined to build a successful business then you must have a business plan written and in place to help you measure that success.
Kimberly Bagley is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the state of Texas. She has practiced accounting for over 20 years. She specializes in helping small businesses save money on their taxes, grow their businesses online, as well as offering QuickBooks software training for small business bookkeepers and owners. Grab a FREE copy of her “Business Tax Deduction Checklist” and sign up for her newsletter at http://KimberlyBagley.co