This is the time of year to make a list and double check it… to make sure your business preparation will suffice.
December is National Business Plan Writing Month. The month-long celebration was created to help potential and current business owners, young and old, stay organized, prepare, and keep their businesses running smoothly.
If you have a great idea for a new business, don’t wait to make a New Year’s resolution. To start chasing the calendar flip, decide to spend December formulating a business plan. As important to potential success as your initial spark of inspiration, a plan acts like a roadmap, helping you avoid pitfalls and jumpstart your career.
Why is this important? Here are five main reasons:
- It forces you to look at your business in its entirety.
- The plan becomes a tool for managing your business.
- It shows others your goals and objectives.
- It serves as the basis for your funding proposal.
- It creates a yardstick by which you can measure and evaluate changes.
There are nearly 32 million small businesses in the United States, including more than one million in Pennsylvania, according to the US Small Business Association. If you want to have a chance to compete with established entities, or if you hope to build on past successes, it is essential to describe your aspirations.
The essential elements of a good business plan include a summary, market analysis, company description, management and organizational structure, list of services / products you plan to offer, a marketing plan, financing request and financial projections.
The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center Network (PASBDC) offers free, confidential advice to help you develop your business plan. Find your local center at pasbdc.org/centers to make an appointment for assistance.
Keep your friends and followers up to date with your progress with the #WriteABusinessPlanMonth hashtag on social media.
In this season of giving, don’t forget to give yourself something.