Why You Need a Business Plan in 2018

Hi everyone! Today I’m talking about business plans and why you need one if you want a successful business. I’ll tell you about
what a business plan is (and what it isn’t) and I’ll also talk about the main
uses of a business plan. Be sure to stay tuned until the end because I’ll include a link to my Business Planning Checklist, which is a great resource if
you’ve never written a business plan and don’t know where to start. Okay so you’ve got a business or you’ve just about to start one and you don’t
have a plan. Now everyone is telling you “you need a business plan”, “you need a business plan” … But why? I mean really who needs a document that takes ages to create, that you probably have to pay someone lots of money to write for you and that will probably end up sitting on the shelf, gathering dust! Right??! So here’s the deal… You’ve probably heard the quote from Dwight Eisenhower, which is… “The plan is nothing. Planning is everything.” Let me say that again… “The plan is nothing. Planning is everything.” And what he meant by that is that the plan itself is not what’s important… it’s the planning process that matters. So the moment you sit down and write a business plan you’re starting your planning process. You start to think about
the research you need to do about your business, options you need to consider, and decisions you need to make. And writing it down forces you to articulate all these thoughts and ideas into something tangible. Writing it down and makes it real, and it forces you, or let’s say it motivates you, to take action, which is the important thing here. So if done well, your business plan can be the Bible for your business. You know, really it should summarise all aspects of your business as it is today. For example, your business structure, your products and
services, your clients and prospects (your target market), your sales and
marketing strategy and plan, your financials, your operations. The list goes on. There’s a lot of things that can be included in the business plan. But even more important it can help you set an action plan for the things you want to change and improve over the next (usually) 1-3 years. So the business plan is your friend, believe me, and it can make your life easier, if you let it. And that means treating it like a living breathing tool, i.e. tracking your actions
each month or quarter, re-reading it every quarter or half year, and then doing full
review every year. So what are the other reasons that you would need
a business plan? One that most people know is if
you ever need to apply for a bank loan or a grant, or find an investor, you’ll
need a documented business plan. That’s a no-brainer. Secondly, it
helps you put everything in one place. If you include the things that I
mentioned before, you won’t need to scramble around to locate information
that isn’t appropriate necessarily to put on your website and might
be stored in folders on your computer. So good examples are things like your sales
targets, your sales and marketing approach, your price list. And thirdly it
keeps you focused and on track. Let’s say someone comes to you with an
opportunity that sounds really grand. A quick look at your business plan
and your goals and objectives can just set you on path. Is this
opportunity one that I want to take or is it really not in keeping with what I
have planned for the business? Nothing major is going to happen if you don’t
have a business plan. In fact many businesses operate
successfully for years without one. But in my opinion, the benefits of having one far exceed the
work involved in creating it. In summary, writing a plan forces
you to put your thoughts and ideas into action. It can be a checklist to get you
from where you are today, to where you want to go in the future. Thanks for
watching till the end. You’ve earned a copy of my business
planning checklist! So click on the link above and it’ll take you to the
checklist right away. So that’s the vlog for today. If you found this video,
and my checklist, useful I really want to know. So please like and share
with your networks. And I’d love to know… Have you got a business plan and if you
do is it working for you? Why or why not? Write your answer in the comments below
and I’ll be sure to respond. So thanks again for watching.
Until next time, bye for now.

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