As you inch closer to launching your business, you’ll learn that a detailed business plan is an absolute must. Without a business plan, you may find yourself lost and looking for answers at crucial points in your launch and growth.

Fortunately, once you create a sound business plan, you’ll have it to guide you well into the future. It’s important that it answers all these questions:

  • What industry are you in? This sounds simple enough, but as you dig deeper you may realize that you’ve yet to identify exactly where you fit into the market.
  • What is your plan for generating revenue? Every business plan should clearly answer this question, as you only have a business if you’re earning money from it.
  • What does your marketing strategy look like? Anyone can start a business, but not everyone can take the steps necessary to get their products and/or services in front of their target audience. A comprehensive marketing strategy is designed to provide direction from day one.
  • Who are your key employees? If you’re starting out on your own, you may be the only employee of the company. However, if you’re working with partners to launch your business, include their information in the business plan. It’ll help you better understand and identify the areas where each employee brings the most value.
  • Who are your primary competitors? You shouldn’t dwell on the competition, but make sure you know your primary competitors like the back of your hand. From their products and services to their marketing strategies, the more information you discover, the better chance you have of eclipsing them at the top of your industry.

If your business plan answers these questions, you should feel confident about the direction in which you’re headed and your ability to stay the course.

Over time, you should revisit your business plan to ensure that it’s still serving you and your company well. If changes are necessary, don’t delay in making them. You want your plan to be as accurate and as thorough as possible.

It takes time to create a business plan, but once you have yours in place, you’ll be better poised for success.