Yes, you need one.
Someone asked me recently why they need a business plan if they were getting all the funding they needed from friends and relatives. They apparently had been led to believe a business plan is just a fund-raising tool.
A business plan is far more than that: It’s an instrument you build to understand and outline how your business is put together. You can use it to monitor progress, hold yourself accountable and control the business’s fate. It also makes for a great way to manage and check strategic goals. And of course, it can be a powerful tool for courting key employees or future investors.
A Business Plan, properly done, will save you a lot of frustration, time, and resources. It’s simple: you can work out the details of your business now, or you can work them out later when making course corrections is more difficult.
Writing your business plan forces you to review everything: value proposition, marketing, operations, financial plan and staffing. You’ll end up spotting things you otherwise would have missed. For example, if your projections call for 10,000 sales by year two and you only have two salespeople, are your staffing projections accurate? The answer might lead you to conclude that other revenue streams or distribution channels are in order. Maybe your pricing structure needs to be realigned to accommodate a larger sales and marketing staff. Maybe.
When you’re the founder, the only person holding you accountable to those results on a daily basis is you. So your plan becomes a baseline for monitoring your progress.
And YOU need to be an active part of the creation of the Business Plan. My services as a business plan writer would best be described as a collaborator, writing partner, devil’s advocate, and guide.