Writing Business Plans
If you're planning on opening up your own business, or perhaps putting some new touches into your current business, and need some financial assistance, be prepared to have business plans in your hand at all times. You will quickly find that business plans are a huge necessity when you're asking to borrow money or get any type of support from not only financial institutions, but friends and investors as well. Though taking the time to develop a business plan seems frustrating and overwhelming, it will not only appease all those who have an interest in your business, but will bring some details to your attention as well.
Before my husband and I started our own business, we had not a clue what business plans were. We pretty much assumed that since we knew the industry well, opening a retail store and business would be an absolute cinch. Well, we quickly learned that our assumptions were not exactly accurate. I got in touch with a loan officer from our personal bank, and she gave me a list of items that she would need in order to get the loan process rolling. Of course, at the top of the list was our company's business plan. I was incredibly embarrassed to tell her that we didn't have one, and promised her that we'd work on it immediately. I went home very discouraged that we were at a standstill but figuring we could get one done in a few days. Needless to say, I had no idea what business plans were all about.
I did quite a bit of research that evening on what exactly business plans were and how to go about putting one together. Well, it involved doing a lot of research and thinking about what our goals and plans really were. Suddenly, we were being forced to look at long term financial plans and company structure. We needed to focus on what exactly we were doing. By starting our business plan, we began to realize that we didn't know exactly what we were doing afterall. Sure, we knew our area of expertise, but had not the first clue at how to run or open a business. Putting this business plan together forced us to look at quite a few factors that we had never even considered.
While creating our masterpiece and ironing out the wrinkles that we were suddenly discovering, we had written a few business plans as rough drafts. Finally, we had one that seemed to be perfect. The loan officer was impressed and within two weeks we had our business loan. It is now three years later and our business is successful. I truly believe though, that without having been asked to create a business plan, we would not be where we are today. It opened our eyes to so many new ideas, questions and possibilities.