chapter 1

Why You Need a Business Plan

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

― Dwight D. Eisenhower

By now you have probably convinced yourself of the brilliance of your idea. Heck, you’re so fired up that you won’t let anything stop you. Until that is, you hit your first roadblock. At that point a fork in the road appears and there are two decisions: quit or keep going. The only problem is you have a vague idea of what lies before you when you quit, it might be that same 9 to 5, the old haggard boss, or an endless row of cubicles with your name waiting at one of the desks. However, what you don’t know is what happens if you decide to keep going, that’s a path paved with uncertainty and assumptions.

There are a few things that will help you at this point: a) a plan, and b) relentless determination. Truth is, you’ll need both to make it out in the clear. The later of the two will be based purely on your outlook and the choices you make. The former though is an invaluable exercise in providing the right amount of support when you’re looking over the edge and feeling a bit of vertigo.

If you stop to think for a moment, looking before you leap can save you a great deal of resources. Sure, it could paralyzes you in fear, but for anyone wanting to start anything, planning provides an invaluable exercise in thinking something through. Oh and when you’re pitching for funding, a business plan is usually the first thing they’ll ask for after your pitch.

In this guide, you’re going to learn everything there is to know about writing your first business plan. Not only will it be the easiest and most comprehensive business plan guide but we guarantee it’ll help you go from concept to planning to taking action.

5 Reasons You Need to Write a Business Plan:

  • The competitive research you do will force you to come up with new and creative ways to outgrow everyone else
  • Seeing the big picture will let you see the holes in your thinking early on
  • You will become intimately acquainted with your customer
  • Brings everyone on the team together to synthesize a unified vision
  • It is a prerequisite in most cases to apply for funding

Traditionally, writing a business plan gets somewhat of a bad rep amongst the entrepreneurial community. You’ll hear an endless array of reasons as to why it’s useless, not grounded in reality, or won’t add a penny to your pocket. That will be most likely followed by advice along the lines of ‘just go ahead and build it’, ‘get it out in the market’, ‘you won’t know unless you try’, and so on. But as you might have found out first hand, some form of planning usually is a prerequisite for success. It can also save you heaps of money.

Lastly, this guide is organized based on the actual structure of the business plan you’ll be writing. Specifically, that will look something like the following:

  • Cover Letter - Chapter 2
  • Title Page - Chapter 2
  • Table of Contents - Chapter 2
  • Executive Summary - Chapter 2
  • Company Profile - Chapter 3
  • Industry Research - Chapter 4
  • Sales and Marketing - Chapter 5
  • Operations - Chapter 6
  • Financials - Chapter 7
  • Sample Business Plan - Chapter 8

Next chapter

2. First Impressions

3 min

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