“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” – Dwight Eisenhower
What does it mean to focus on planning your process rather than on the end-plan itself?
It is known that it has been a long-term dilemma between entrepreneurs on whether a business plan is a necessity for the success of a company or not. You all know the famous cases of entrepreneurs founding companies such as Google or Alibaba, without having a business plan at first. But is this data relevant, and more importantly, enough, in order to determine whether you need a business plan or not? In order to determine the answer to that question, there are few other factors than we need to take into consideration, such as the period of time these companies were founded in; the state of the markets at the time and the markets need for such companies; whether the lack of a business plan was at the first stages of creating the business or it wasn’t created even after a while, et cetera.
Is it possible to start a business without a business plan? Yes. Will the chances of your business succeeding grow if you write a business plan? Also, yes. And according to recent studies, a business plan doubles your chances for success.
A business plan is a document that determines a business’s future objectives and strategies for achieving them. Important data such as marketing targets or sales goals, financial projections, or overall defining the nature and profile of your business in the paper is an important step not only because it helps business owners better understand their business and its projected path, but also it can help in the cases of requiring loans or funding from investors.
But how can you use a business plan to your company’s success without becoming a slave to it?
Here are a few tips on how to write a winner business plan:
1- Understand that a business plan is the real manifestation of your idea at the moment.
As it is known that writing a business plan is often the first real struggle because no innovator or creator wants to consider the chance that his or her business idea may be flawed or is not yet fully developed. And that’s exactly why you need to take this step, in order to deal with those flaws: test your ideas and define the needed steps to make the business stronger and more viable.
2- Be clear and strict on the matters that matter the most to you at the moment.
Business plan templates usually include lengthy and detailed explanations and many times young entrepreneurs or startups don’t have everything cleared out! Therefore, it’s important to focus mainly on the themes that are the most important at that point in time for your business: the prototype and what it offers to the market; budget needs; costs; financial projections that show the chances on whether or when the business will become profitable.
3- Don’t become a slave of the moment, but stay open to the ideas the future might bring.
Once you have finished the business plan and it’s all lengthy and shiny, and you think you have everything figured out, you need to accept that you actually don’t. The biggest “con” of having a business plan from the beginning is that it sometimes makes entrepreneurs become rigid and stick to what has already been planned, thus amputating the most important quality for a successful business: the openness to the future and the light of new ideas. Your business plan should contain a planning process rather than an end-plan. The business plan should serve as an outline of your business, while the inside of it should always be open to new chances and more importantly, better ones.
There is no absolute on whether your company might succeed or fail, but it turns out that having a plan can benefit from reducing the risks.
That being said, it’s actually updating your plan regularly which means that you are tracking your performance and making adjustments as you go. If things aren’t going well, you know. And, if things are working out, you know what to focus your efforts on.
So, build a plan, but don’t just stick it in a drawer: always be open to new and better ways to improve it, and therefore secure your chances for success!
Vigàn’s Group business plan consultants and specialists will work on each aspect of your business: market research expert to provide business intelligence and data on your competitors, a financial analyst to develop your five-year financial projections and assess total funding required, a marketing strategist to think through the best channels to reach your customers, and a business consultant in Albania to help you brainstorm and draft your business strategy.