Benefits of Having a Written Business Plan

by Norma

written business plan graphicEveryone who opens a new business has a plan, however informal. If you’re just starting out in business, a written business plan can help you organize all the pieces that will have to come together to make your business a success. A business hoping to expand its operations in some way can achieve the same benefits. A well-established business trying to grow out of a business-as-usual rut can use a plan as a modeling tool to examine various options before committing to one.

Many small business owners feel that they can keep track of everything without the need to write it down. A written plan, after all, is really just the embodiment of the internal planning that every business owner does anyway. However, the structure a written plan provides makes it more likely that you will consider all relevant factors and that nothing important slips through the cracks.

What justifies the additional time and energy you’ll spend creating a written plan that presents a blueprint of your business idea? An increased chance for success. More specifically, a plan can be:

  • a reality check when you first examine the feasibility of your business idea, which forces you to consider all relevant factors
  • your business’s resume, which will be vital in dealing with lenders and outside investors, and an important tool in negotiating with vendors and attracting employees
  • a timetable for operations helping you to coordinate all the diverse activities that go into running your own business
  • a modeling tool that helps you evaluate the variable factors that affect your business, so you can better prepare to deal with situations that may arise as conditions change
  • a vehicle for tracking the progress of your business
  • a blueprint against which you can adjust operations in order to achieve your goals
  • a starting point for future planning

Do you have a business plan? How has it benefited your business? Starting over, what might you do differently? Please tell us about it with a comment or email

Information compiled from U. S. Chamber of Commerce

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Michiel Jonker November 16, 2009 at 12:34 pm

Larry,
I do agree with you that writing a business plan is a reality check. It allows you to see things on paper rather than it being a jumbled mess in your head. But what we have done since we wrote our original business plan is alter it according to today’s harsh economy.

My wife and I have our own business. And for the last year it has been struggling to make money. But when we went back to use our plan as reference to figure out why we realized we never made any additions to it. We didn’t add how to earn profits during the “down” time and not just during high successes.

When we finally made these changes, the money started rolling in again.

So I suggest everyone should re-address their original strategy for it is not always going to work in today’s age. It must be relevant to what is occurring in the world today.

Hope this advice helps others before its too late.

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CLD March 29, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Having a business plan is not only beneficial, but necessary to any small business just starting out. Your post contains great advice for anyone looking to write a Small Business Plan . Having a business plan written down will really help guide your business in the right direction and help to ensure its success in the long run.

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