5 Reasons Your Company Needs a Business Plan TODAY

*Note from Kara: Welcome Susan Payton our newest contributor to the Small Business Blog! I first encountered Susan while reading her Marketing Eggspert columns on Sparkplugging, and we recently connected on Twitter. Every week she will be sharing entrepreneurial tips from her book with the community. Enjoy!

You know what your business does.
You have plans for the future. Why bother with a business plan? Well,
for one, a business plan allows us to step outside operations and see
what's really going on, as well as plan for where we want to take our
businesses. Here are five reasons to convince you to write that
business plan (if you haven't already).

  • Write it down; make it happen. Simply
    writing down your plans make them that much more likely to be followed.
    Those ideas in your head are easier to ignore, while a written plan
    makes you more likely to stick to it.
  • Make your employees feel like a team.
    Your business plan affects more than just you. Let your employees in on
    what you have planned. That way, they can participate in helping you
    make your plan succeed.
  • Spread your expenses.
    If you're starting your business, it's tempting to buy all kinds of
    equipment up front, shiny new desks, and the best chairs. A plan helps
    you determine the best timing to buy the things you need for your
    business and spread it out so that your investment is more even.
  • Attract investors. Even
    if you're not considering investors right now, a well crafted business
    plan will keep you organized for the day you do. The first thing
    investors will ask you for is your business plan, so get into the habit
    of having one now.
  • Get serious about your business.
    Many times, entrepreneurs don't really feel like their businesses are
    "real." It's just something they do out of their home offices or their
    garages. Having a business plan helps secure the understanding that
    your business deserves to be taken seriously.

Tips

1. Take your plan out quarterly and review it. Don't be afraid to make changes as your company changes.

2. Don't make it complicated. A
business plan doesn't have to be a 42-page document. Start with a
simple template and grow it from there.

3. Not a writer? Find a local small business resource like SCORE or an SBA facility that offers free or affordable business plan writing.