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Do I really need a business plan? It’s a question that most new entrepreneurs ask themselves frequently. You already know what your business is all about and there seems to be hundreds of things you need to take care of before you can start making some money. So, why waste your time writing everything down? Well, it‘s way more than just summarising your ideas. Actually, business planning can be the key to your success.

Three Main Reasons

Having a well prepared business plan can help you greatly in at least three areas of your business. Let’s start with financing. If you’re seeking finance for your business, you’ll need to show banks and investors why they should invest in your business. Investors will only risk their time and money if they’re confident that your business will be successful and profitable. A coherent and well-researched business plan allows you to show that you’re serious about your business. It helps investors to understand your business idea and the plan shows your predicted profits and income streams.

A business plan can help you prioritise. A complete business plan is one of the most valuable tools in helping you reach your long-term goals. It gives your business direction, defines your objectives, maps out strategies to achieve your goals and helps you to stay on the course. The planning process helps you to consider possible obstacles and put a plan in place to better manage them if they do come up. So, once you have your business plan it is advised to take a look at it to remind yourself of your goals and priorities, assess whether your strategies are working, adapt to any new changes in your environment and make the most of new opportunities as they come your way

Developing your business plan helps you to step back and look at what’s working in your business and what you can improve on. A business plan can give you control over your business. The planning process helps you learn about the different forces and factors that may affect your success – instead of worrying about the future, a business plan helps to give you a sense of control over your business and your livelihood. The research you’ll be doing will ease the process of identifying the challenges you may come across and work out strategies to avoid or overcome them, you will understand your business finances, including managing cash-flow and determining your break-even point.  You will be able to set specific goals, timeframes for achieving them and how you’ll measure performance.

You Don’t Have To Start With A Blank Sheet Of Paper

So, now you know why a business plan is valuable. It’s your step-by-step guide on how your business will achieve its objectives. To write an effective business plan you’ll need discipline, time and focus. Although the process can seem challenging, it’s very rewarding and gives you a sense of control over your business.

A business model canvas is a perfect place to start. There are numerous types of business models, and they can all be mapped onto physical chart called the “business model canvas”. It’s simply a design for the successful operation of a business –  it’s how you create value for yourself (e.g. make money) while delivering products or services to your customers. Business model canvas canvas is broken into several building blocks such as Value Propositions, Customer Segments, Channels, Customer Relationships, Revenue Streams, Resources, Key Partners, Key Activities, Cost Structure and so on.

To learn more about business model canvas and business plan we invite you to an open talk on the 6th of June at BWorking Coworking Spaces in Lisbon. Nuno Guilherme, entrepreneur for more than 10 years and founder of the BWorking Coworking Spaces, will share his knowledge and insights.

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