Leadership January 11, 2013By: Anthony Pollino

We know what you are thinking.strategy

You have your business strategy under control.  It’s all perfectly clear inside of your head.

You’re a creative leader. Putting your thoughts down on paper is a waste of time. Why bother when your brilliant strategy is already in your perfectly organized brain?

You understand why financial analysis is a necessary part of the business plan process. Yet, you may not see the need to outline the seemingly obvious aspects of your venture.

Like many entrepreneurs, your product speaks for itself and its place within the market is clear.

Like many entrepreneurs, you would be wrong.

Strategy is about more than just financial analysis. You need a clear, actionable and accessible business plan. You might have it all in your head, but that does not that your message will translate well to others, especially to investors.

A Business Plan Provides Clarity

Outlining exactly what your company does and detailing the industry in which you operate provides clarity to you and to those interested in supporting your venture. The company and industry portion of your business plan should be a sellable snapshot of your endeavor.

What needs does your product fill? Why is it relevant? These answers may come easily to you but remember, if you can’t put your product into words, no one is going to buy what you are selling.

You may think your product belongs in one industry but after examination, discover that it is better suited in another market. Conversely, you may need to refine or even redesign your initial product or service to meet the industry you want to serve.

Industries and consumer needs shift dramatically. An organized and written business plan gives you clarity on which elements you need to adjust.

Plan for Market Shifts

When you’re drafting your business plan, you’ll not only be describing the market as it is, but also what it might look like in the future. You can plot out more than one scenario and describe how your company would operate in those circumstances.

This shows investors that you have more than one backup plan, giving your idea staying power.

Gather data from the current market, as well as previous years.  Analyze trend forecasts in your industry, as well as complimentary fields. There are plenty of tools and services out there to help you find the data you need. Don’t worry about doing it all on your own. You don’t have to.

The details of a business plan can vary based on the industry or unique needs of your company. Hashing out all of these nuances early on limits and even prevents obstacles that can hold back your company launch. Plus, putting your plan on paper helps others understand and get behind your vision.