No matter how small your business idea, a business plan can help you build the confidence you need to get to opening day. Business planning is not just for large or high-growth ventures, and it really shouldn’t be put off until you need to borrow money.

As healthy as the planning is, many small and micro business owners will put it off as long as they can. And it’s easy to understand why. Business planning involves the tedious process of organizing your thoughts and getting them onto paper, more likely into a word processor. It includes a whole whack of potentially unfamiliar activities, such as researching, writing and building a credible set of financial projections.

Indeed, why would anyone knowingly put themselves through such pain? Thankfully, the benefits far outweigh any negatives. Here 11 ways you will win by taking the time to develop a business plan:

▪ You know where you’re going
▪ You will have a road map or blueprint for your business
▪ You will have a document to look back on in order to measure your progress
▪ A plan will help protect your investment and equity from loss
▪ You will find out if your idea will work
▪ You can discover and solve problems before starting the business
▪ You will build confidence in your business idea
▪ The plan can help you get financing
▪ You become the expert for your business
▪ You will prove your business case
▪ You will have a document to use for communicating with others, family, partners, investors, bankers

Business planning can appear larger than it really is, until you step up and embrace it. Think of it as a cost-effective learning process for anyone aspiring to operate a successful business in today’s complex global work environment. A business plan can be a giant step toward making your dream business a reality.

Author's Bio: 

Dan Boudreau is a business planning coach specializing in small business planning and financial forecasting. His services span the areas of research, planning and training. With more than 17 years of experience in the consulting field, Dan has developed and facilitated workshops for the following topics: Entrepreneurial Training, Business Planning, Market Research, Proposal Development, Train the Trainer, and E-Business Basics.

Dan has owned and operated small businesses since 1980, ranging from single owner home-based enterprises to more than 180 employees. He is acknowledged and appreciated by his peers and clients for his excellent communication skills and his ability to bring entrepreneurial ideas to fruition, which ensure that his clients receive services of the utmost quality.