Many new small business owners start on a vision which is great; however that vision truly does not have a plan. A business plan is important to offer a solid foundation for your business model and forethought of expense, income, marketing, etc.
I work with many small business owners and truly not all 'ideas' or 'dreams' are the right fit for that person. One major downfall with many business owners is that they act on impulse and not logistics.
Example... 'Bob' has a relative who is diabetic – he decides to open a store front bakery in a strip center and only utilizes family and friends to help create, build, market and originate ‘goods’. No one is on a payroll – everyone is a volunteer which of course equates to no accountability. The store receives some media attention due to the ‘specialization’ of the store. People come in from the media attention – store becomes busy – no true employees since employees are volunteers / family and Bob is now having a hard time keeping up on orders because he does not have the funds to purchase bakery supplies. Bob is selling as much as he can but he is truly upside down on funds since he has utilized all of his personal funds to get the bakery up and running. Bob realizes that he needs to sell over 5,000 cupcakes to make his rent, insurance payments, vendor payments, etc. Unfortunately, 7 months later, the bakery closes.
This is a true example of not having a solid business plan with a realized budget. Good people with good thoughts however did not have the guidance from a SCORE or SBA counselor to assist them with their business model.
Make sure that you take the time to meet with your proposed landlord to learn about the fine print, make sure you meet with the local village or city to learn more about the demographics of the area, make sure you have disposable income since you will not be ‘making money’ right away, make sure that you have a clear sense of what you wish to have your business look like – stick to your plans – do not let anyone up sell you on your plans.
Enumerating all the mistakes may be productive to a point, but discussing the means to avoid them as a whole is more constructive.
A sound business plan is the best tool for the new enterprise. It is just as much for the business planner as for the investor. Completing the process will convince the most important individual that a viable business vision exists for the enterprise. That individual is you.
When you have completed your business plan, you will be able to pitch it with confidence to people who can help you. It will be your road map to your future that you can slide across the table to a banker, partner or investor. You can address it with verve because you own it by having done it.
The free links below provide free tools and examples on business planning.
How To Write A Business Plan
Sample Business Plans