A lot of people come to me with business ideas, but either they don’t have a real plan or haven’t taken the time to put one together. When you are seeking investors, it’s always a good thing to have. If you haven’t taken the time to do YOUR homework and put the effort into knowing everything about your business, then why should I be interested? A good business plan is the key to getting started off on the right foot, and will give you and anyone else you may be working with a snapshot of what it is you are creating. Think of it as roadmap, personalized just for you, that is going to guide you from where you are now, to where you want to be.
Writing up a complete business plan may sound like a daunting task, especially for the first timer, but if you do some research and read samples, everything will start to fall into place naturally. A good plan must include contents such as a description of the business, products and services, organization and management, an analysis of the market, and financial documents such as balance sheets, and income and cash flow statements.
There are many resources available online for free that can help you draw up your business plan. The U.S. Small Business Administration (sba.gov) has an online guide to help you through the process, complete with examples and a self-paced tutorial. Don’t be afraid to ask someone you know with business plan writing experience to look over your plan as well. Remember, experience is half the battle.