The Business Plan: Your Roadmap to Success
Writing a business plan can be a very time consuming and difficult task but frankly one that all too many of us entrepreneurs don’t take seriously enough. Would you ever leave home without your GPS or map when traveling from New York to California for the first time? Why would you start a business without a road map that will take you from your starting point to your final destination? How will you know if you are lost or in a place you don’t want to or shouldn’t be? You NEED a business plan, period. Look at it as a tool to point you in the right direction and gauge your successes, and sometimes even lack thereof. I can’t imagine having started Maternal Science, Inc and launched our brand healthy mama ® without a business plan.
I even went a step further – prior to developing an in-depth business plan for healthy mama ® brand, I did some quick market research to determine if I had a viable concept. It did cost a little money, but it helped me understand better I should be investing more money to bring healthy mama ® brand to market. It also provided me some great information from my potential consumers to help guide how I developed the brand. They even helped me choose the brand name, healthy mama.
Once I determined that my concept was viable, I sat down and began to draft my road map to a successful business. It helped me think about all the necessary variables like what is my point of difference or my reason for being, what is my competition, how much money will I need to get off the ground, what is my sales strategy, etc, etc.
While I had many years of experience developing marketing plans from my previous occupation, what did I know about writing a business plan? Nothing! I looked on line to find business plans that other people had written as well as purchased a business plan software program that helped me outline my very own business plan- this was one of the smartest things I did as it ensured I had all the elements required for a smart and successful business plan (aka road map).
Why You Need a Business Plan
If you are seeking funding, a business plan is a requirement. Potential investors will want to see all the thought put into the business to ensure you’re thinking through all the details that will help to minimize their risk. My business plan took me 6 months to finalize but when it was complete, it was a masterpiece. It detailed everything from A to Z and truly helped me think about, not just how we were going to launch, but the next few years of the company and brand and how we will sustain ourselves as well as grow the business. I used it for investors and they were very impressed with how much thought I put into my business and it made them that much more comfortable investing.
You don’t have to develop an in depth plan, but at minimum create an outline that will provide you some guidance, provoke thought and hopefully keep you on the road to a prosperous and successful business.
Wishing you much luck in your business venture.
Rachel Katz-Galatt CEO and founder of healthy mama ® brand (www.healthymamabrand.com )