In this Small Business Administration article, the author debunks some of the common myths about why small business owners sometimes decide NOT to undertake a formal business plan before launching their business. Here are those myths, and the reasons you might want to reconsider them.
1) Myth: It’s about the management, not the plan.
A good plan is what will drive your management. A plan steers you to set a strategy, track your performance over time and revise your strategy along the way. Effective management will follow because you'll have benchmarks to measure and know which strategies to implement next.
2) Myth: A plan must include a detailed market analysis
If you’re writing your business plan without intending to seek outside funding, you may not need to do a rigorous market analysis, but only if you already know exactly what product or service you are offering and to whom. You may come upon a reason to do one of these in your business’s future, say, for example, to determine your next strategies, but this is part of the plan you can skip if you’re clear about it at the outset.
3) Myth: Good planning will reduce my flexibility.
The reverse is actually true. A plan will help you know your cost projections, what your long-term versus short-term goals are, and whether your marketing and sales teams are in sync, for example. Knowing that data allows you to be flexible when the need arises, because you'll already have a clear picture of what's going on in your business.
The NH SBDC has several resources for writing your business plan:
- “Crafting Your Business Plan” is a free e-course available to anyone to take at any time. Click here: http://nhsbdc.org/crafting-business-plan.
- Our business advisors are available to meet with you after completing the course. http://nhsbdc.org/locations
- You can find more tips in this resource section: http://nhsbdc.org/need-business-plan.