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Why Invest Time Energy in A Business Plan

? The first question any marketer should ask a potential client is, "do you have a business plan." When I ask the question, more often than not the answer is "no."

Whether a start-up or an established business, I'm finding more and more companies are bypassing that important first step. And, if they did have a plan when they launched their business it hasn't been updated in years.

There has always been debate regarding the need for formal business plans. I can certainly understand why folks challenge the need to invest their time and energy in creating the document. When you're anxious to start a business or grow an existing business who wants to waste precious time writing a business plan?

After all, as my clients and prospects are always pointing out, "a formal business plan does not equal success."

They are absolutely right. But here's the thing, it's not really about the plan. It's about the process. The planning process is as vital to business as steering is to driving. You can have a destination in mind, but if your hands aren't on the wheel you'll never get there. It's as simple as that.

You'll discover what you know and don't know about your business through this planning process. Most importantly, it allows you to - in just a few pages of bullet points - establish your business goals and outline the steps needed to achieve them.

Here's your short list: - Business concept - Business goals - Growth factors - Priorities - Milestones - Cash Flow

Personally I don't care if a client or prospect has their "business plan" written on a napkin or the back of an envelope. That simple bullet list provides me with enough insight into their business to create an integrated marketing plan to help them succeed.

It's not about how many pages, it's about establishing a defined path that you can follow to launch and grow your business. And, if you're thinking about paying someone to write your plan, please reconsider. Your plan will include specific goals and milestones that you have to achieve - it's your decision on what those are.

There are a variety of resources available to walk you through the process of developing your "business plan."

About Author Pamela Hege :

At Homeport Marketing we pride ourselves on partnering with clients to create a sound strategic marketing plan to take their business to the next level. Find out more at <a href="" target="_blank"></a> .

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Article Added on Monday, July 26, 2010
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