Writing a business plan often sounds like a mammoth task, especially if you don’t consider yourself to be much of a writer. The words ‘business plan’ tend to conjure up images of big, daunting documents and hours hunched over a desk – maybe even spending valuable time trying to hammer out those finer details when you could be out and about actually doing your business. But it doesn’t have to be like that.
You can make the process of writing a business plan a little easier by starting earlier – and it’s never too early to start your business plan. In fact, as soon as you get the idea for your business and start thinking about how it might work, you’re already planning. The next step is to get it all down on paper.
As soon as you start getting ideas, write them down. You might have a ‘eureka’ moment at the gym, come up with a new idea while you’re trying to get to sleep, or solve a problem in the shower. Keep a notebook with you whenever possible so that you can write everything down. It’s easy to think “I don’t need to write that down, I’ll remember it,” but unfortunately it’s also just as easy for something to vanish from your brain, leaving you desperately trying to remember your great idea and thinking “I really wish I’d written that down.” So make a note of absolutely everything, even if it is something that sounds very simple and obvious.
Not only does writing all of your thoughts down help you to remember them, but by writing down ideas when you get them, you’re slowly building up a body of notes that you’ll later be able to shape into something more solid that you can use in your business plan. This makes the task of writing a business plan less daunting, and it gives you lots of material to work from. Even if you end up discarding some of the things you write down, putting them on paper helps you to think things through more clearly, generate new ideas, solve problems, and figure out what works and what doesn’t.
Exactly when you need to start your business plan depends on your circumstances. For example, if you need to secure funding, you’ll want to put something together as quickly as possible so that you can present your idea to potential investors or lenders and get your business off the ground. If you don’t need funding and you’re writing the plan for your own reference, you may be in less of a hurry. But even if you’re writing a plan for a business that already exists, the sooner you outline your goals and how you’re going to accomplish them, the sooner you achieve success.
In summary, when it comes to asking “when should I start writing my business plan?” the answer is always: “Right now!” There’s no time like the present.
If time is of the essence and you need some help writing your business plan, contact us – we’re happy to assist you, whether you’re just getting started or you have a fully-fledged business.