Creating even a simple business plan will provide significant benefits to anyone thinking about starting a business. Almost every business starts with an idea or concept. A simple business plan is the road map to turn that concept into a true “business idea.”
With a concept, you only need to come up with the highlights–the fun part. A simple business plan forces you to think about all of the parts. Equally important, a simple business plan will ensure that all of the parts fit together to form a complete business.
There are a lot of people who can think of great ideas, but far fewer who have the talent and will to act on them. For most, they have an idea but that’s where it stops. Future business owners need to be able to transform their ideas into fully functional plans. Once complete, that simple business plan will be its own reward, providing its author with the confidence of knowing, “I really do have a good idea and now I have an action plan.”
When you talk to successful business people, you’ll often hear them say that they always knew they would be successful. Just like an athlete who mentally trains by visualizing him or herself winning the big prize, the business owner has seen this day coming in their own mind for years in advance. Creating that simple business plan is the first step in visualizing yourself being successful. It takes you beyond a desire to be successful, into a plan for being successful.
Most entrepreneurs excel at some but not all aspects of the business. They might be good with product ideas, but not production. Or, they could be great with numbers but not with sales. While any business will have areas in which it is stronger than others, there can be no areas of complete void. Creating a simple business plan will force the entrepreneur to address the complete company. Products or services, sales, marketing, finance, operations and the management team—even in a simple business plan, they must all be addressed. In doing so, the founder confronts how every aspect of the business will be mastered, leaving no glaring holes in what must be a complete company.
Once all of the parts of the business are on the table, the value of a creating a simple business plan really starts to come through. The plan says there will be $500,000 in revenue in the first year—but are there enough people selling to generate that level of revenue? Does the plan show that there will be sufficient resources to produce or deliver that level of revenue? Do the startup expenses listed in the finance section take into account the equipment and people needed in the early stages of the business in order for the business to achieve its goals?
A simple business plan brings this act of ‘reconciling the parts’ into clear view. These types of issues can be challenging to solve in a business plan, but that is precisely the place where they should be addressed. Once a business is operational, problems of this nature can become extremely expensive and difficult to solve. Once again, the simple business plan, as the first step, is the answer.
Every first-time entrepreneur wonders, “Do I have what it takes to be successful.” Having the will and the tenacity to create a business plan will help to answer that question. By taking command of the planning process you will gain a new level of understanding of exactly what it will take. The challenges and the solutions will come into focus in high resolution. Your simple business plan will help to answer the most important question for any business idea, “What will it take for this business to be profitable?” After all, that is the purpose of any new business. That is what it takes to be successful.
Finally, as mentioned earlier, successful business owners frequently share the common trait of having always known they would be successful. This isn’t blind faith. It is the culmination of planning, vision and hard work. Properly constructed, a simple business plan can be the spark that ignites that vision in you. Looking at your own plan and knowing the thinking that has gone into it, how everything is there and knowing how all of the pieces fit together, you will be able to say, “I see exactly how I am going to succeed in this business.”
You will be well rewarded for the time you invest in creating a simple good business plan. Get started today!
For more help on how to create a simple business plan, start with our free business plan template and business plan outline. Find a host of related topics on the Small Business Plans website.