Sometimes it feels like writing a business plan is a roadblock preventing you from actually getting your business started. When you’re passionate about an idea and frustrated at the thought of delaying it for even a moment longer, it’s tempting to wonder “Do I need a business plan? Can’t I just go do it?”
Business plans get a bad rap as time consuming and complicated, but research has shown that companies that plan are more successful. A business plan helps you clarify your ideas not only to your partners or investors, but also to yourself. Business plans reduce the risk of starting a business; spending a little time investigating, gathering data, and planning means you’re less likely to waste your time, money, and resources.
One of the main things we do in Launch & Grow is help you develop your business plan. We use LivePlan, an award-winning software that streamlines the business plan process down to simple, modern efficiency. You enter the data, and LivePlan creates the forecasts, benchmarks, graphs, and spreadsheets for you. Testing the numbers for your business idea is huge – an unprofitable business model, insufficient cash flow, or trying to expand too quickly are common mistakes that can be prevented.
If you’ve come to one of our Start Smart classes, you know that its goal is to help teach you the basic building blocks of starting a business. It’s an overview of all the many details you need to be aware of before launching. Launch & Grow is the next step for many of our Start Smart attendees. It takes you through the entire process of developing your business idea into a business plan. But more than that – it gives you the chance to interact directly with successful North Iowa entrepreneurs and learn from them. Every week, Launch & Grow brings in a local businessperson to share their story and help you develop yours.
The short answer to “Do I need a business plan”? is yes. But you don’t have to do it alone. Learn more about Launch & Grow and how the Pappajohn Center can help you start or expand your business. Or contact us if you have any questions.