It’s true not everyone puts together a business plan before they start a business. I have a good friend who is also a very successful businesswomen and she doesn’t believe in them. She feels that you cannot really know what your first year sales are going to be until you are actuallyin business. Is she right? While I agree with this reasoning that you cannot really know I still strongly believe a business plan is essential. Maybe she was lucky in that she didn’t need one. However most entrepreneurs do. Business plans are a map that you put together to figure out what steps you need to take in order to be successful in your journey. Would you start a trip without directions on how to get there? So why would you undertake a new business without a plan on how to achieve your goals? As a new business wouldn’t it make sense to do everything you could to raise the odds for success? One of the great things about putting together a business plan is that it forces you to answer questions that flesh out your business concept. If you look at a template for a good plan it will ask you questions about your vision, your customer, expenses, mission statement, product, and more. I work with many startups who find that the process of making a plan clarifies their concept and gives them a clear cut guide on how to proceed. They find that they save time and money and reduce mistakes. This is why making a business plan so valuable. Don’t take short cuts. Make a business plan and increase your chances of success.