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Importance Of Creating An Ongoing Business Plan

One of the basic steps of starting a new business is the creation of a documented business plan. Not only is this needed for securing business loans and financial backing, it is an integral part of preparing a business for success. As with any large project, having an outline of purpose, goals and time projections can help keep business owners on the right path while growing their company.

Basics Of Creating A Business Plan

A business plan is usually created before opening a business, as a written set of goals and perimeters of the company. Business plans can be extremely intricate or informal, depending on how they are going to be used. Entrepreneurs that are looking for financial funding will need a much more detailed plan than those that are just using it as a guide for their own purposes, however, it should contain some basic information such as:

• Business purpose. Almost all business plans start with the basic purpose or mission of the company. What products and services will be provided and to what market or consumer audience. This should give a concise description of the product or service and how it is marketable and profitable.

• Budget. One of the most important parts of a business plan, especially if looking for funding, is budget information. This includes start up costs and a budget for ongoing costs such as wages, utilities, lease/rent payments, marketing, taxes and any other associated business costs. This also should include financial documentation on assets, credit viability and projected earnings.

• Goals. Setting goals and a time line for meeting these goals not only helps investors, it is a way for business owners to track their own success. It helps determine whether the business is progressing as expected and whether adjustments need to be made in budgets, marketing and financial forecasts.

A business plan is not just a document for those preparing to open a business; it is an ongoing plan to document the progress of a business, both for the owners and possible investors in the future. Owners can use this plan to look back on projected performance and weigh it against real numbers. By updating the business plan as a company grows, this information can be used to track what areas need improvement and what the strengths and weaknesses are in the business. Creating your business plan, and updating it annually, should be considered a vital piece in operating a successful business.