Business planning is a critical component of creating, managing and/or financing a successful organization. Unfortunately, in many smaller companies this function is overlooked or neglected. Small business owners, faced with time constraints, limited personnel and constant competitive challenges, often realize the importance of business planning, but wait "until they have the time" to do it. However, business planning, whether simple or complex helps you properly manage your company and overcome many market and operating challenges. Prepare to Plan
"Planning to plan" is often the most important single component in effective business planning. Spending thoughtful time preparing to create your plan -- identifying goals, stating objectives, evaluating processes, and considering your "mission" or purpose for your company -- will result in a tightly focused plan. For those of you believing business planning to be a daunting task, proper preparation greatly simplifies the process. Effective Communication Vehicle
You might, at first, question the importance of business planning as a communication tool. However, a well-written business plan can communicate your knowledge, commitment, and vision to your employees, prospective lenders, and potential investors. A thoughtful business plan should vary depending on whether you are starting a business, growing your organization or financing an existing company. In every case, its importance as a communication vehicle is paramount. Know Customers And Competition
This is a classic win-win important component. Your business planning is critical to your success and knowing your customers and competition helps make your plan effective. Evaluating, analyzing and knowing your competition better than they know themselves, while understanding the demographics of your customers and their wants, helps you perform better business planning. Exhibiting your valuable knowledge of your customer base and...