The benefits of having a business plan include:
- Helping you to clarify your vision and deciding whether or not to forge ahead with the idea.
- Determining if your product and/or service has a sufficient market to support it and whether or not it will be profitable.
- Providing an estimate of your start-up costs and how much you’ll need to invest or finance.
- Convincing investors and lenders to fund your business.
- Defining your target market (who your customers are or will be) and how to best reach them through strategic marketing actions or expanding market coverage or reach.
- Establishing or reevaluating your competitive position within the marketplace, by conducting a thorough analysis of the competition (finding out where your competitor’s weaknesses are and how you can take advantage of them).
- Defining corporate objectives and programs to achieve those objectives.
- Helping your business make money from the start by developing effective operational strategies.
- Understanding the risks involved and anticipating potential problems so you that can solve them before they become disasters.
- Setting a value on a business for sale or for legal purposes.
For more resources, see our Library topic Business Planning.