Why Should I Write a Business Plan?

A business plan is a vital tool for your business. You know this, but writing one still sounds daunting. You already have a plan for your business in your head. All you’re doing when you write a business plan is taking the information from your head and putting it on paper.

The real value of a business plan is in the writing process. By putting your ideas on paper you give yourself an opportunity to step back, do some extra research and critically examine your ideas. Most importantly, it allows you to showcase your knowledge of your business model, industry and financials with others, including potential lenders.

A business plan starts by answering some basic questions about your business. Do you know how many products or hours you need to cover your expenses? You will when you do your break even analysis. Wondering about your competition? Do some competitive research and find out who they are–oh, and put it all in your business plan. Our How to Write a Business Plan Resource guide covers the main components your business plan should include.

The length and style of the business plan depends on some factors. Generally, you’ll need a longer plan if you have a more complex business model, a more established business or if you are seeking a loan. If the plan is for internal planning purposes, it can be shorter–there are even one-page models.

Luckily, there are many free templates to help you through the writing process no matter your business plan needs:

Do you want some free extra assistance in formulating your ideas and/or getting feedback on your business plan? Check out our map of resource providers or find an SBA resource partner, a small business development center (SBDC) or a SCORE volunteer near you.