Why Is a Business Plan Important? A Complete Guide

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 8, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you want to build a successful business, you may be interested in learning why a business plan is important. Business plans require reflection on your career goals, the anticipation of challenges, and an overview of the estimated financial information. Knowing more about the elements of a successful business plan can help you write more efficient plans of your own. In this article, we answer the question, "Why is a business plan important?", review its benefits, and provide tips to help you develop your own effective plan.

Why is a business plan important?

If you want to create a business, you may wonder, "Why is a business plan important?" Business plans are documents that list business goals and the processes required to achieve those goals, along with information about sales, marketing, and product development. They also outline resources required for setting up the business, funding and budgeting information, details about employee contribution, and profit projections and sources.

These plans include information about your target audience and the type of people you want to hire. They provide you with guidance throughout the process of starting a business and also help prevent errors in the beginning phases of business creation. When completing milestones in business set up, you can consult your business plan to determine your subsequent course of action. Starting a business includes both risks and rewards. When you begin the development process, an effective business plan can help you be better prepared to meet with investors and help give you a clear idea of the business' future.

Benefits of business plans

Here's a list of the benefits of creating an effective business plan:

Helps you predict problems

A business plan can help you predict potential problems, like slow seasons or changing customer trends or habits. You can better prepare and anticipate these challenges with a business plan. To come up with an idea of potential challenges, consider collaborating with other professionals in the field who can provide you with advice and opinions on how to best approach those obstacles if you ever face them.

Provides a valuation for the business

Estimating the value of a small business can be difficult, but it may be necessary. Whether you want to include it in your estate, list it for sale, or evaluate the taxes, a business plan can be a helpful resource when making the calculation. Providing your business plan to an accountant can also help them calculate an accurate valuation for the business.

Related: Business Plan Component (What to Include in a Business Plan)

Provides guidance

As an entrepreneur, you may encounter challenges like employee conflict or legal difficulties. Creating a clear business plan can help you deal with these issues when they arise because you have already considered potential solutions to these issues during its creation. These plans also require you to identify the purpose of the business and what you hope to achieve, along with how you can mitigate issues to help ensure you reach your goals.

Provides you with the best chance of success

The goal of entrepreneurship is to own a successful business. While you can't guarantee success, having a clear business plan increases the likelihood of reaching your goals and making a profit. Reviewing your business plan occasionally can help remind you of why you became an entrepreneur and can help you refocus on the mission of the business.

Determines the success of the business

An effective business plan typically provides a clear outline of your goals. By including key performance indicators in your plan, you can use the latter to measure the success of your business. For instance, you can use this information to determine what areas of the business perform best and which areas require improvement. You can also use it to help identify the need for new goals or plans.

Tips for creating business plans

Here's a list of tips for developing business plans that you can use to write your own:

Conduct research

Business plans require you to conduct research on the industry you plan to enter and on your competitors. You benefit from conducting research to determine how you want to develop the business. You can also choose to develop a business plan if you want to change the direction of your existing business. When writing details and finances of the new business plan, you can also determine if the shift in business is likely to be profitable.

Evaluate competitors

Researching current companies within the industry that you want to enter is an essential part of your business plan. When you identify the strengths and weaknesses of competitors, you can also predict where there's a gap within the industry. By identifying where competitors aren't currently reaching customers, you can better predict how you might reach them. It can also help you choose your target audience.

Set objectives

You can use your business plan to set objectives for team members. This helps ensure everyone has clear guidelines for their duties, and you can use these objectives when training new team members. Business plans establish the expectation of businesses from the beginning. When you change or update goals, business plans can assist you in sharing objectives with employees and may improve overall accountability and structure.

Members of upper management can also set goals and objectives for themselves. They can use business plans to list the goals they hope to achieve and their deadlines. This provides them with a structure for their daily responsibilities, along with a stronger sense of accountability.

Determine hiring requirements

You can choose when the company requires new employees as you expand and grow. When revenue increases, many companies decide to establish new departments and hire new employees. It's beneficial to consider whether the business has the required profits and revenue because hiring new staff before having sufficient revenue places the company in a deficit. A business plan can help you establish clear expectations for new positions and requires you to determine which skills you desire for those positions ahead of time.

Make decisions

Developing business plans helps you make important decisions about the company and about your team. For example, you may wonder whether you can rent new business spaces or whether you can expand the business. Your plan can help you make informed decisions because it requires you to conduct research about these ideas before launching your business.

Related: Strategic Position for Your Marketing Plan (With Tips)

Know when to sell

Deciding when to sell a business can be a difficult decision. Setting clear goals and desired achievements for your business in advance can help you set a timeline and determine the best time to sell. The information in your business plan can also be helpful during the selling process, as it helps determine the contributing factors to its value.

Determine funding sources

You may decide to take out a business loan or invite investors to be a part of the business. A business plan can help you present your ideas to secure funding. If you apply for a business loan, you may require a thorough business plan to demonstrate your idea to the bank. A business plan can also help you determine how much money you require to establish and operate the business.

Understand benefits and advantages

Salary isn't always consistent for an entrepreneur. A business plan can help you create reasonable estimates because it typically lists the expected costs and revenue of the business. For instance, an effective plan can help you provide investors with an estimate of when they may expect a return on investment or establish the amount of time it may take for you to earn a profit. If you meet the financial goals listed in the business plan, you can also accurately predict the other financial information based on the outlined information.

Share business plans with others

When starting a business, you typically receive questions about it and your future plans. To answer these questions and prepare for extensive conversations, you can draft a business plan. These plans require you to reflect on the business and your career goals and can help you be prepared for any questions that may arise during discussions.

Related: How to Develop a Strategic Business Development Plan

Create an effective marketing strategy

Once you have a business, you may find it beneficial to reach customers through marketing. Setting clear goals for your business in the plan can help you establish who your customers are and the best way to contact them. This can help you maximize the utilization of your marketing budget and increase your revenue.

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