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Do I need to write a business plan?

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Question: Do I need to write a business plan?
Answer:

Yes! Once you have an idea for starting a business that you want to pursue, writing a business plan should be one of the first things you do.

People think of writing a business plan as something that’s only necessary if you’re trying to get a business loan or persuade investors that your business is worth their money, but actually, writing a business plan is necessary no matter how you intend to finance your new business.

The main purpose of writing a business plan when you’re starting a business is to test the viability of your business idea. Writing a business plan will tell you if the business you’re thinking of starting has a chance of becoming a successful business.

Writing a business plan when you start a business forces you to do the research and get the information that you’ll need to turn your idea into a successful venture. And if writing your business plan shows you that that particular business idea won’t work? Abandon it and try another idea.

If you don’t write a business plan when you’re thinking of starting a business, in the best case scenario, you’ll be floundering around squandering time and resources. In the worst case scenario, your new business will fail – because of things you didn’t but should have known.

The bottom line is that if you invest some time and energy into writing a business plan, you’ve got a much better chance of avoiding business failure.

For how to write a business plan, see my Writing a Business Plan series, which starts with The Business Plan Outline.

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