Writing a business plan is a vital first step when starting a business, in order to set out your proposition, your market, customers and competitors. The business planning process will give you a feel for the various elements that will determine your success, from cash flow, to sales forecasting to your personnel structure. A good business plan will let you structure your finances efficiently, show potential investors the strength of your business, and focus your efforts on developing your business. A business plan isn’t written once; it’s a living document that you return to periodically to help you spot potential pitfalls before they happen.
For finance providers a good business plan is essential, particularly for start-ups and new businesses where little other information is available. Established businesses will also benefit from a good plan and it is often used as a benchmark to make sure the business is going in the right direction.