The Importance of a Business Plan

April 24th, 2013 by ificore


Are you tired of working for others? Are you ready to step out on your own? Do you dream of owning your own business? Yes?

Fabulous – but are your prepared to open you own place?

Did you know that almost 50% of all service based businesses fail within 5 years? Don’t become one of those statistics. You need a plan. You need a comprehensive business plan.

A business plan acts as a road map. It’s your compass so you don’t get lost along the way as you launch your new venture. Not creating a plan is one of the biggest mistakes you could make with your future. It would be like trying to drive from Michigan to California without a map. Or a GPS. You’re not going to get there very quickly if you do not have a clear plan.

A comprehensive plan contains a number of key factors about your new business. This is a list of items from a business template I personally use and recommend whenever I start a new venture. It’s from the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). It can be found on line.

  • Business Plan Outline
  • Executive Summary
  • General Company Description
  • Products & Services
  • Economic Trends
  • Marketing Plan
  • Operational Plan
  • Management & Organization
  • Personal Financial Statement
  • Startup Expenses & Capitalization
  • Financial Plan

I know – I know. Most new business owners are so anxious to get going – they neglect this critical planning stage. There is lots of money to be made and pets be groomed. You don’t need a ‘plan.’

Whoa there. Failing to plan is a plan to fail. Period.

Filling out the many details in your plan can be an overwhelming process. Many are so intimidated by the financial calculations; you want to skip that process all together. But don’t! If you are overly intimidated by sections of the plan, get help. All successful businesses have a team of people that have helped them succeed. Start building your team now.

Most people find it helpful to have the following experts on their team;

  • Business Mentor
  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Bookkeeper
  • Attorney
  • Financial Consultant

If you do not have these experts to assist you with your plans, there are other options. You can take business and accounting classes. Attend local business seminars or workshops. Or take business classes on line. Plus, there are great computer programs that can help you set up and run your business.

Other resources to help you write a business plan include books, colleges and universities that work with Small Business Development Centers and counselors and mentors at the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). They provide low-cost classes on how to write business plans that can be very reasonable.


Most new businesses need some type of funding. However, it is so economical to start a pet grooming business; many new business owners skip the financial section of the plan. Big mistake. Even if you do not need a lot of money to start your business, writing a plan will allow you to clearly identify if your idea will be strong right from the start. Without a plan, you leave far too many things to chance.

You definitely will need a plan if you are going to apply for a business loan, look for private investors, or have business partners. Even if you don’t need assistance with funding, you still need a plan. YOU and  YOUR livelihood depend on it!

Before you even start to write your plan, get copies of loan applications used by banks, commercial finance companies, and government. These applications will give you a good idea of how much financial information you will need to include in the business plan.

A good business plan should provide a reader with a general idea of what a business owner is trying to accomplish. It should be well organized, neat, tidy, and easy to read. A reader should be able to get a good feel for what you want to accomplish within minutes of quickly flipping through the pages of the plan.

How long should your plan be? For a new start up grooming business, you plan can be 20 or 30 pages. You want to be concise and to the point. Long business plans are boring – and no one wants to spend time with a boring plan, including your potential funding resources! The text should be within one or two font families, making it very easy on the eyes to read. The text should be well-spaced. Bullet lists make it easy for the reader to get through a long list of details easily. Illustrations, samples of marketing materials, charts and simple spread sheets all bring the plan to life.

Just remember that the most important person for a business plan is YOU! By not working through the process of creating comprehensive business plan, chances are your business failing within a few years is greatly increased. Keep in mind, almost 50% of all new service businesses fail. Help yourself become successful by creating a plan for your new pet grooming business.