Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Business Plan

Just why the business plan has become such an important part of the business financing process in recent years comes as little surprise. Using the latest in business plan software products makes writing a business plan fairly straightforward. Very seldom do we find that entrepreneurs are all-rounder’s and have skills and experience in all the different functional areas of the business. Most often the potential business owner may have both an interest and experience in a certain area and for that reason that they may have come up with a solution to a current problem or challenge that he/she may have come across.

Most entrepreneurs are in essence advanced problem solvers and due to their strong self-belief and resourcefulness may take their solution further to the point where a new venture is created. Think about eh entrepreneurs that you know, consider their ideas and you will quickly see that they have really come up with a solution for either themselves, or someone they may know, whether that is a friend, customer or family member. So the point I’m making here is that the solution obviously comes from their area of expertise, plus of course a healthy serving of imagination and creativity.

When it comes to the actual starting and running of the business, numerous other skills are also involved, whether those are marketing, finance, operational, customer service or service delivery skills seldom would you have thought through the processes involved in addressing these areas. This is where the business plan becomes such an important issue.

Banks and business investors are very well aware of the large failure rates for start-ups. It’s their business to understand the risk that they are taking on and hence believe that one way for the risk to be managed is to ensure that the entrepreneur have actually through thought the various issues while engaged in the process of writing he business plan. The plan will require you to look at just about everything from marketing, to ecommerce, operational aspects, sourcing suppliers and even the legal issues involved in starting and running your business.

It’s a pity then that too often today, the only reason why someone may draw up business plan would be to comply with the demands from the bank or investor as it really can serve as a major tool to ensure that the all too often mentioned business failure rate can be improved and more entrepreneurs can make a success from all the initiative, energy and capital that goes into starting a new business.

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