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Starting a business without a business plan is like trying to build a house without a plan. It just doesn't make sense. To build a house, you start with a blueprint to establish the design and structure, and you figure out the costs and budget. Then, you figure out how you are going to get the funds to build it.
Your business plan will declare the vision of your business and provide you with the same answers as a blueprint. It will also help you understand your market, your product, your potential customers, and the future of your business.
Your business plan may change as your business develops. But, realize that starting a business without a plan is foolish.
My company did it the wrong way. We started the business using our best guess and a lot of luck. Now, I've completed the 12-week process, and I am almost done with the plan. I had to do a lot of things I didn't want to do (like call my competitors and try to learn about their company), but now I know that I am much better informed. The class that I took also put me in touch with a number of new leads and other new business owners. Some of these businesses are using my services. This alone will pay for the money that I spent on the course.
What parts are in a business plan? Find out what the recommended parts to a business plan are by clicking on this link.
I decided to take a class through a private foundation, but there are other resources for writing your plan.
First, visit your local library and check out some books on business plans, and sample business plans. These books will give you a starting point.
Second, contact your local SCORE office for free information and classes about writing business plans. These services are free and are a wealth of information from retired executives that just want to help you out.
Third, you could hire a business consultant to help you write the dreaded article. I really don't recommend this, there is much to be learned from this exercise. Fourth, you could buy a software program to help give you structure to your written document.
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