opens in a new windowbusiness plan precisely defines your business, identifies your goals and serves as your firm’s resume. It describes the products and services you will sell; the customers to whom you will sell them; the production, management and marketing activities needed to produce your offerings; and the projected profit or loss that will result from your efforts.

The business plan allows you to use the research you completed for your plan to make decisions affecting the future of the business. Although a plan is time consuming, it is important to business success. Completing the plan forces you to examine all decisions regarding management, marketing, personnel and finance in an objective and organized way.

Another important benefit of the planning process is that you will project the amount of financing needed for start-up and the early stages of your business. Therefore, the business plan becomes a useful tool in securing capital before start-up. Then, later, the plan becomes your owner’s manual guiding your daily operations and activities.

Business planning is an ongoing activity. Existing businesses, as well as start-up firms, benefit from writing and regularly updating their goals, plans and activities.

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