2017-05-19 11:30:46 Self Employed English You might be shocked to find out how much time goes by while you get your business going. Create a plan and stay focused on what needs to... https://quickbooks.intuit.com/ca/resources/ca_qrc/uploads/2017/05/Desk-with-smartphone-notepad-glasses-laptop-pen.jpg https://quickbooks.intuit.com/ca/resources/self-employed/when-is-the-right-time-to-create-a-business-plan/ When and Why You Need to Have a Business Plan

When and Why You Need to Have a Business Plan

3 min read

You’re ready to leave that 9-to-5 job and regular paycheck to become self-employed. Have you started your business plan? Do you even need a business plan? It’s always a good idea to create a self-employed business plan before you launch. It comes in handy for many different situations that commonly come up when running your own business.

Elements of a Good Business Plan

Among the topics your business plan should cover are:

  • Monetization: How do you plan to earn money?
  • Marketing: How do you plan to market your goods or services?
  • Purpose: What problem does your company solve?
  • Product/Service: What do you plan to produce?
  • Team Members: Who should be on your team?

With these elements in place, you can dig deeper to create a plan that speaks to the specifics of your company.

Seeking Funding

Many entrepreneurs bootstrap business expenses until the money starts flowing. Others look for outside funding to cover startup or expansion costs. If you want to seek business funding from an investor, bank, or other source, expect to be asked for your business plan. Investors want to see that you have a solid idea for a business and that you know how to successfully execute a plan to make the business happen. Your plan should also show how you plan to make a profit, which gives the investor or lender confidence in lending money to you.

Searching for a Partner

Another way to expand the possibilities for your business is to take on a partner. Maybe you already have someone who’s excited about working with you in your business. Potential business partners likely want to know more about your plans for the business before they commit. That’s especially true if you’re expecting your partner to give up a steady full-time job to take a chance on your new business venture. A possible partner wants to know there’s potential for something better than their current job: You need to show them your vision, action plan, and what’s in it for them.

Hiring Talent

While you may not necessarily want to show your business plan to new or potential employees, creating one before you hire your first employee helps you decide how many people you need, their responsibilities, and what fits within your startup budget. The business plan essentially helps you match the type and amount of people you need to approach each strategic objective you develop for your company.

Focusing on Continuity Planning

Many business owners only think short-term, hoping they can develop a strategy that gets them through the first year or so. Developing a long-term vision and approach to your company helps you make decisions from the beginning that benefit your business. A business plan prompts you to think about your company in terms of continuity planning and to address any potential risks and hazards. That can help you make decisions that make it easier to recover should your business face challenges.

Encouraging Growth

Even when you have an established business, it’s good to revisit your business plan periodically, especially if you’re experiencing a revenue plateau. It’s a good way to see where you can make some changes to stimulate new growth and increase your revenue. Conducting new research and updating your plan could provide answers on why you’re experiencing a financial slowdown and how you can take your business in a new direction.

Having a solid business plan gives your venture direction. Using tools such as QuickBooks can help you make your plans reality by making your job easier and helping you stay on track. The QuickBooks Self-Employed app helps freelancers, contractors, and sole proprietors track and manage their businesses on the go. Download the app.

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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