Four Unexpected Benefits From Preparing Your Business Plan
By Ronnie in Good To Know
When you first begin your business journey, you usually prepare a business plan. Doing this is important for a variety of reasons. Some of the most obvious are to:
- secure financing
- prove the viability of your business
- establish milestones
- understand your competition
You can find out more detail on the importance through a simple Google search but here are a few articles that are concise and informative.
- 20 Reasons You Need a Business Plan by Dave Lavinsky
- 8 Reasons Having a Business Plan Is Important for Small Businesses by Kateri Kosta
However, aside from the obvious things, there are four surprising things that happen when you prepare your business plan that go beyond what you may usually consider.
1) You learn your business
Yes, I know you think you know your business but do you really? When you sit down and actually define all the components, things change. Detailing each aspect allows you to clearly see what you actually know and what you might be glossing over. Don’t be nervous. This is quite enlightening. It opens up new worlds of possibilities.
For example, when completing a business plan for one of our new concepts, we were defining the target audience. For this business the audience was completely different than any we’ve done previously. We started to go the same route of categorizing the audience by groups of people like, friend groups, families, couples, etc. With this new concept the audience was more business to business but instead of categorizing the audience by group of people like, the finance department, the executive team, etc. we took a different approach. This time we delved deep into the types of buyers we would face, like the economic buyer, the technical buyer, etc.
This change opened our eyes to updating our presentation and marketing materials to be sure we answered questions those types of buyers would have, as opposed to directing everything to the group in which the buyer worked within the organization.
If we hadn’t done the due diligence with the business plan our entire marketing direction would be different and not as effective. This is where learning your business can create new and exciting opportunities that you wouldn’t have realized.
2)You hone in on areas that need more concentration
When you generally think about completing a business plan, you generally believe you have all the information you need. It’s just a matter of putting all your thoughts into the actual plan, right? However, when you sit down to put all those thoughts together it becomes a bit more difficult. And, that’s okay.
In fact, that’s good because then you can really take the time to understand those general thoughts and detail them in a strategic way. In doing that, you become laser-focused on where you need additional work. Those areas that you are comfortable and confident about go down easily. Those that are cloudy take longer. When we prepared our first business plan, I believed we had the pricing aspect nailed down but when really detailing it out, we found it definitely needed more work.
The best part of this is you are dealing with these nebulous areas before they actually affect (most times negatively) your business. Of course, there will always be those things you missed or could never have accounted for (hello pandemic). What comes with that is a sense of confidence or new motivation to continue to move forward in your business.
3) You are forced to focus on your positive attributes
This is an area (or should be an area) in every business plan where the key leader’s qualifications and strategies for success are outlined. Shining a light on the positive qualities of the leaders (mainly you) is critical. It’s important to show how these attributes will lead the business to success.
On a daily basis, most of us have the tendency to overlook the good elements of our hard work. Even when we experience success, we quickly move on to the next hurdle that awaits us.
However, when you have to put in writing how your expertise will lead your business to success it gives you a new perspective on how amazing you really are. I love going back to reread my resume from past experiences. I’m like, “wow, I was awesome!”
There is nothing more motivating than digging into your own self-confidence to propel yourself forward!
Preparing a business plan is a daunting task. It takes a lot of time and a lot of work. The usual advantages make it worth it, but the unexpected benefits skyrocket it to the best thing you can do as you begin your entrepreneurial journey.
Have you completed a business plan? Will you, now that you know the benefits? Or if you have, what were the biggest benefits you received? If you want to discuss details, let’s do it!
And stay tuned, next time we’ll be focusing in the one key way to always ensure your success!