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Why Create a Business Plan

Whether you create a business plan is not a legal issue, but a business plan is a helpful tool that benefits an attorney’s or other party’s understanding of your business intentions and expectations.  A business plan is also necessary if you will seek financing for your enterprise.  It describes all that is unique about your business, examines and predicts how it will fare in the market, and includes financial statements that will be of interest to an investor.  Your investors will expect to see your plan.  But, busy investors will often look only at your financial statements.  The entirety of the plan is actually for you, whether or not you seek outside funding.

Creating a business plan allows you to work through the process of putting your ideas down on paper.  To do this, you will have to do some research.  You will have to support your ideas.  You will be forced to gather and include real-life data.  And as you do, you will get to know your business’s strengths and weaknesses.  You will become more intimate with ideas of which you only previously had a gut sense; you will be able to articulate these, and to plan for them in a very real way.  You will learn how to succeed at market.  You will understand your business’s growth potential and trajectory, and the steps you must take, and when, to stay on track for success.  You will end up creating an organized plan for starting, running, and developing your business.  You will have an outline for turning your vision into a reality.

The legal work you will later execute in support of your business continues this process.  Good legal work articulates an entrepreneur's vision, claims, expectations, and intentions.  It makes them real and recognizable to all, and can generate blueprints for manifesting your goals and ideas.  It also protects your business and helps you to create value.  These are the practical aspects of making your business dreams come true.

If you are an entrepreneur who does best when you “wing it,” don’t worry.  There will still be plenty to wing.  It is unlikely that the knowledge and understanding gained through a business plan would ever dampen your spark.  True, some entrepreneurs simply have instincts about what to do when; how to ride the top of the creative business wave.  If this is your style, you will still do your thing.  Creating a plan can only help you to know your business better.  It can only give you more and better information.  It should actually help to free you to do your best work.

There are many business plan templates available online.  A link to SCORE's Business Plan Templates is provided for you here.  SCORE is an acronym for the Service Corps Of Retired Executives.  This is a great organization that connects entrepreneurs with experienced business mentors for free.  They generally know their stuff, operate in many areas around the country, and can provide individualized guidance.  Your state Department of Commerce, local government, or community economic development organization can also often provide excellent templates, sample documents, and other resources.  If you can't find what you are looking for on your own, your local library may be able to point you in the right direction.