The Purpose of
Business Plan Writing
Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese general, once said: “Know yourself, know your enemy, and know the situation – and in a hundred battles, you will always be victorious.” Leave out one of those three elements, and you’re success is no longer guaranteed. And that is the number one purpose of business plan writing. You can either Build by Design –or– you can Build by Chance.
“If you don’t know where you’re going,
no road will take you there.”
-Old Saying / Proverb
The purpose of business plan creation is really decision-making. Decision-making before you lay down your money or invest your time and effort. By bringing the future into the present you can do something about it now. Additionally, the more detailed the plan, the better chance that action will follow. Planning is an investment of time and energy that will help build momentum that can carry you into the launching of your business.
If you don’t take the time to Prepare Now, you will have to Repair Later. Many people starting a home business subscribe to the philosophy of crossing their fingers, hoping things go well, and if they don’t – well, then they will fix it.
Building a business plan is just like preventive maintenance on your vehicle. If you wait until it’s broken – it is very expensive and very inconvenient (you have no choice but to get it fixed). If you fix it before it’s broke, it costs much less time and money.
The more comprehensive your plan, the more you will be able to identify potential obstacles. Some people say, “What’s the use in building a plan anyways. Nothing ever goes as planned.” They are absolutely correct.
“I have always found that plans are useless,
but planning is indispensable.”
- Dwight D. Eisenhower
Nothing ever goes go as planned. Your business plan product may become completely useless. Things like invalid assumptions, changes, miscalculations, and poor estimates could render the plan obsolete. The product is merely a tool and a starting point. However, the planning process is the true purpose of business plan writing.
As you go through the process of planning, you’ll identify variables, contingencies, ideas, and issues that will increase your flexibility to unforeseen changes. The planning process allows you to take responsibility and develop your own personal productivity. Once things change you can flexibly modify the plan, if the planning process was completed properly.
You should never start something until you have finished it. Because it’s not where you start that counts – it’s where you finish.
“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree,
I’d spend seven sharpening my axe.”
– Abraham Lincoln
You’re start will be delayed if you prepare everything before you begin. But once you have completed preparations, you’ll roar ahead. There will be fewer things to repair or repeat once you launch. Take your goals one at a time, and appreciate the process as you move forward. Otherwise you won’t.
It’s like building a house. Imagine if you just started laying bricks. Somebody could ask, “What are you building here?” You say, “I have no idea. I’m just laying bricks and we’ll see how it works out.” They would call you foolish and maybe take you away to a safe place.
The will to win is nothing without
the will to prepare to win.
– Bobby Knight (3-time NCAA Basketball Champ)
In order to take action, you’ve got to put it in writing. The power of the written word will enable you to focus on what you are supposed to do and then do it. It’s a promise you’re making to yourself and another purpose of business plan creation. However, when building your plan, be careful to avoid Analysis Paralysis, which looks like this:
READY-AIM READY-AIM READY-AIM
A plan does not have to be perfect, but you do have to pull the trigger and get it started. A half-way decent plan, with action taken, will get you a lot further ahead than delaying for the “perfect” solution.
As an active duty F-16 fighter pilot, I can offer this age-old premise of military tactics:
A decent plan executed now is always better than a
perfect plan executed later.
And here’s another key element that is the purpose of business plan writing: CONFIDENCE. Imagine if we had to drive from Boise, ID to Atlanta with no directions, no maps, and no signs – we would probably have an uncomfortable degree of uncertainty. However, with good directions, an accurate map, and clear road signs, we would be very confident during our journey. Directions (training), maps (business plans), and clear road signs (tracking and analysis) will be key factors to your home business success.
Plan your work and then work your plan. Find out how to Build by Design with a comprehensive and detailed Business Plan.
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The Purpose of Business Plan Writing
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