A business plan is a blueprint of your company, presented in standard business format that is logical and well documented. A good business plan is also:
 A strategic vision of your company
 Your most important communication tool
 A document to obtain working capital and/or investments
 A tool for planning, measuring and improving performance
 A basis for sound decision-making
 A way to motivate employees

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The Business Plan is a written summary of what you hope to accomplish by being in business and how you intend to organise your resources to meet your goals. It is the road map for operating your business and measuring progress along the way.

The Business Plan identifies the amount of financing or outside investment required and the time when it is needed. First impressions are important. A well-organised plan is essential for a lender or investor to assess your financing proposal and to assess you as a business manager.

By committing your plans to paper, your overall ability to manage the business will improve. You will be able to concentrate your efforts on the deviations from plan before conditions become critical. You will also have time to look ahead and avoid problems before they arise. It encourages realism. It helps you to identify your customers, your market area, your pricing strategy and the competitive conditions under which you must operate to succeed. This process often leads to the discovery of a competitive advantage or new opportunity as well as deficiencies in your plan.

Three or four hours spent each month updating your plan will save you time and money in the long run and may even save your business. Resolve now to make planning a part of your management style.

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