What is a business plan?

It is an essential written document that provides a description and overview of your company’s planned future.

A business plan is essential for planning in the business. It spells out the mission, vision, planning, financial needs, and other facts that are unique to your business. Sadly, the main purpose of a business plan is cluttered. The reason I say this is because the business owners that contacted me for a business plan, wanted it because it was a requirement to raise funding. This is one of the reasons for writing requesting a business plan, but it must not be the main reason.

A business plan, if it is thought through and done properly, will be a decisive tool to guide you in making sound decisions, that will culminate in the greater goal of your business. It will also help you identify potential weaknesses in your business. An integral part of a business plan is a SWOT analysis. This analysis identifies and points out the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for your company, and lastly, threats to your company.

It can also indicate whether there is a niche for your company to focus on. It is clear that writing a business plan, is not quick and easy, as it must be a thought-through process. You need to focus and, if need be, investigate to ensure that the business plan is aligned with your vision and plans. It must not be a stand-alone document that is removed from reality and the operations and purpose of the business. The business plan must be a workable document and must be revised as circumstances for the business change. The business plan must be aligned and changed to cater to these changes. It must also ensure that your mission and vision stay applicable to the changed situations.

In my view, if a business plan is written just to raise funding for the business, it is unfortunately a paper exercise that is worth nothing, and the real purpose of the business plan is compromised.