Written Business Plan—Do I Need One?

Written Business Plan—Do I Need One?

Written Business Plan

Do I really need a WRITTEN business plan when my business changes all the time? That's a common question. The answer is YES, absolutely you need a written business plan. Imagine you're on a ship and you don't have the instruments or the tools to direct you to your destination. It may be okay if you're sailing really close to the shoreline and you can see land, but you're not going to reach your desired destination across the ocean.  Imagine going across one of the Great Lakes or an ocean and not having anything to guide you except your eyesight.  That's what a business is like when it doesn’t have a written business plan in place with the appropriate KPIs in place. What about the question, what if things change? Heraclitus said, “The only constant is change”.  The business environment will absolutely change, but your goals will not change. You may have to adjust your plan in response to external conditions, but your fundamental direction will not change.  Your business plan provides you a map, scorecard, and timesheet to let you know where you're going and when you plan to arrive.  Perhaps the most important advantage of a written business plan is it helps you strategize and think through the steps rather than react. Without the business plan, you can’t evaluate progress, determine if you're utilizing resources effectively, and work on your highest priorities. What would be the effect on your business if you had a business plan with your:

  • Goals
  • Priorities 
  • Timelines
  • Performance benchmarks
  • Areas of responsibility 

Hmmm…I think I just gave you the framework for your written business plan!

What impact would a written plan have on your employees? Customers? Bottom line?

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