A strong and detailed business plan lies at the center of every successful business, but unfortunately, there are a great many misconceptions surrounding them. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about business planning.
“I don’t have time to write a business plan.”
Every single business can benefit tremendously from having a strong, well thought out business plan underfoot from the very beginning. Any entrepreneur who does not give the proper time and attention to creating a detailed business plan runs the risk of undermining the success of their business. If you feel that you do not have the knowledge and experience needed to write a successful business plan, then you have every reason to consult a legal expert who specializes in business planning.
“I’m not going to use my business plan once it’s written.”
Among many entrepreneurs, there is this misconception that once the business plan is written, it is going to find its way onto a shelf and never see the light of day again. A business plan, however, should be considered a living and breathing document that you can refer to and continue to refine on a regular basis. It will help remind you of your assumptions, product, target market, milestones, and more. As you grow, you should update these aspects of your business plan to help you better track your progress—and set your trajectory—as a business.
“A business plan is only about getting investments.”
While a business plan can be a powerful tool that can help you win the support of some investors, that is not the only purpose that a business plan serves. You should also think of your business plan as a means through which you can grow to better understand your market, define your goals as a business, and hold you and your team accountable.
“I don’t need a business plan because my business is already established.”
Well established businesses have, perhaps, an even greater need for a business plan than new start-ups do. The reason? For an established business, the stakes are much higher when it comes to investments and new ventures. A business plan can help an already established business more wisely expand its divisions, start new divisions, make new investments, and more.
“Business planning ends once the business has been created.”
Business planning does not simply end once a business is up and running. Every business requires proper legal guidance as it negotiates contracts with customers, contracts with employees, agreements with vendors, protecting intellectual property, and more. A business is constantly growing and ever-changing, and therefore you can expect to continue with many aspects of the business planning process as the business evolves.