December is National Write a Business Plan Month, an initiative by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The month aims to encourage entrepreneurs to get a start on their business plans. It reminds established businesses to strengthen theirs as well. It’s a good reminder to modify, rethink, and adapt plans for the future. Markets and trends change at warp speed therefore an updated business plan keeps your brand relevant.
Business Impact NW offers classes that can get you started or meet you where you are! For example, Virtual Square One is the perfect class if you are starting from scratch and need assistance with starting your business.
Take a look at our calendar for more classes and resources: https://businessimpactnw.org/events/
Now is a great time to think about how your plan can be part of something bigger and create long-term good. For instance, studies have shown that millennials are increasingly supporting brands that benefit the community. Make sure that company is you. Above all, you win by making other people win. It’s an unbeatable reward!
Creating a business plan serves as a road map for the early years of your business. Here are a few reasons why business plans are important for small businesses:
5 Reasons Why You Should Have a Business Plan
- Firstly, most forms of external capital acquisition require a business plan. If you ever plan on taking out a loan or soliciting to an investor, you will most likely be asked to furnish a business plan. Creating a business plan evaluates the feasibility of your business and your ability to pay back your loan.
- Secondly, business plans can serve as a great foundation to create various marketing decks, pitches and partnerships. You want to represent your business to different stakeholders in the strongest way possible, and illustrate to your audience that you are an expert in the field. All the time spent researching for your business plan prepares you to present and pitch with confidence.
- Third, the financials of your business will indicate the health of your business. The more you know about how your financials work: revenue models, operating costs, cost of goods sold, your P&L, balance sheet and cash flow, the more you can mitigate risk. Your business plan will allow you to understand your financials and tell you what financial needs your business may have in the future.
Visit our partner, the U.S. Small Business Administration, for more resources on how to get started in writing your business plan: https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/plan-your-business/write-your-business-plan
- In addition, the process of putting a plan together is going to teach you many things about your business. A comprehensive and thorough business plan will require you to research, analyze and conduct strategic planning. You may find yourself adjusting and correcting certain assumptions you made in the beginning. Perhaps you may find the need to pivot your business model entirely, just from going through the process of creating a business plan.
- In short, competition is always a threat to the success of your business. How do you prevent other businesses from taking potential revenue from you? Who are your primary, secondary and even tertiary competitors? Understanding your competition, and how they differ from your business model will be key to long-term success. Competitive analysis via your business plan will provide you this necessary insight.
About the author
Ashley Minter is a contract Communications Officer at Business Impact NW. Ashley is a public relations and communications professional and has worked for numerous organizations in Georgia including the City of South Fulton, City of Union City, Prevent Child Abuse Georgia, and Fulton County. Ashley is also CEO of Ashley Nicole Communications, a boutique public relations firm in Atlanta.