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But there are several compelling reasons to consider writing a business plan, even if you don’t need funding.
Here’s what a couple of entrepreneurs said when we asked them how useful writing a business plan was for their business.
“We had a marketing background, but not much experience in the other functions needed to run a fashion ecommerce business, like operations, finance, production, and tech.
Not every business launches with a formal business plan, but many founders find value in taking time to step back, research their idea and the market they’re looking to enter, and understand the scope and the strategy behind their tactics. A business plan is a document describing a business, its products or services, how it earns (or will earn) money, its leadership and staffing, its financing, its operations model, and many other details essential to its success.
Investors rely on business plans to evaluate the feasibility of a business before funding it, which is why business plans commonly are associated with getting a loan.
Here are some of the components you should include in your company overview: Some of these points are statements of fact, but others will require a bit more thought to define, especially when it comes to your business’s vision, mission, and values.
This is where you start getting to the core of why your business exists, what you hope to accomplish, and what you stand for.Enroll for free Few things are more intimidating than a blank page.Starting your business plan with a structured outline and key details about what you’ll include in each section is the best first step you can take.To define your values, think about all the people your company is accountable to, including owners, employees, suppliers, customers, and investors.Now consider how you’d like to conduct business with each of them.As you make a list, your core values should start to emerge.Once you know your values, you can pen a mission statement.Here’s what your business plan’s executive summary should include: This section of your business plan should answer two fundamental questions: Who are you, and what do you plan to do?Answering these questions provides an introduction to why you’re in business, why you’re different, what you have going for you, and why you’re a good investment bet.Since an outline is such an important step in the process of writing a business plan, we’ve put together a high-level overview you can copy into your blank document to get you started (and avoid the terror of facing a blank page).Here’s a sample business plan outline: You can also start with a business plan template, and use it to inform the structure of your plan.