Q: I am starting my own business in a field in which I am very experienced. I don’t need financing, so why should I spend time preparing a business plan? My father didn’t have a business plan when he successfully started his business.
A: Starting your own business can be the most rewarding experience of your life or it could become your worst nightmare. Though the overall statistics vary, at a minimum, half of small businesses fail in the first two years, and 80 percent within the first five years.
Why do so many small businesses not make it?
Business is risky. You may be risking your own, someone else’s, or borrowed money, but, at the very least, you are risking your own time, energy and self-esteem.
Many things have to go right to succeed. You need the right idea, right market, right place, right time, right management and right sum of capital.
A well-prepared business plan will help you answer these questions and reduce risk. The value of a plan lies in the thought process – not necessarily in the finished document.
The disciplined, systematic approach helps you, and your advisers, to think things through thoroughly, to research to ensure all relevant facts are known and correct, and to look at ideas critically.
A business plan does not necessarily guarantee success. You can
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