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Download the business plan example Although even the best-crafted plan may not survive its first contact with reality, the act of planning is still invaluable for your business.To make sure your efforts are focused on the highest-value parts of planning, like clarifying your goals, setting a strategy, and understanding the market and competitive landscape, lean on a business plan template to handle the structure and format for you.Often, an idea for starting a business is discarded at the marketing analysis or competitive analysis stage, freeing you to move on to a new (and better) idea.
In the growth phase an updated business plan is useful for forecasting or raising additional capital for expansion, and if you decide to sell or close the business the business plan can include strategies and timelines for the transfer to new ownership or dissolution of the company.
Here are five good reasons why you should write a business plan when starting a new business.
We’ve filled out a sample business plan as a companion to our template, featuring a fictional ecommerce business.
Our fictional business creates custom greeting cards with your pet’s paw prints on them, and the founder of the business is writing a plan to help understand the market, as well as the logistics and costs involved, to give themselves the best chance of success before they launch.
The more you know about your industry, your prospective customers, and the competition the greater the likely hood that your business will succeed.
Writing a business plan will ensure that you pay attention to both the broad operational and financial objectives of your new business and the details, such as budgeting and market planning.
Taking the time to work through the process of writing a business plan will make for a smoother startup period and fewer unforeseen problems as your business becomes established.
The exercise of budgeting and market planning will help you define your Target Market, your Unique Selling Proposition, optimum pricing strategies, and outline how you intend to sell/deliver your products to customers.
And established businesses often need money, too, to do things such as buy new equipment or property, or because of market downturns.
Having an up-to-date business plan gives you a much better chance of getting the money you need to keep operating or to expand.