A business plan is a written statement that describes and analyzes your business and gives detailed projections about its future. A business plan also covers the financial aspects of starting or expanding your business—how much money you need and how you’ll pay it back. Writing a business plan is a lot of work. So why take the time to write one? The best answer is the wisdom gained by literally millions of business owners just like you. Almost without exception, each business owner with a plan is pleased she has one, and each owner without a plan wishes he had written one.
Most lenders or investors require a written business plan before they will consider your proposal seriously. Even some landlords require a sound business plan before they will lease you space. Before making a commitment to you, they want to see that you have thought through critical issues facing you as a business owner and that you really understand your business. They also want to
make sure your business has a good chance of succeeding.
The same financial and analytical tools necessary to convince potential lenders and investors that your business idea is sound can help you decide whether your idea is the right business for you. After working with hundreds of business owners, I have observed an almost universal truth about business planning: Writing a plan is an internal journey through the mind of one person. Even in partnerships and corporations, usually one person has the vision and energy to take an idea and turn it into a business by writing a business plan. For that reason, I have addressed this book to the business owner as a single individual rather than a husband and wife team, group, committee, partnership or corporation.