Posted by : Amanda Stein Thursday, December 27, 2012

When you are starting a new business, a well-written business plan is essential to attracting potential partners and investors. But the first person the business plan should impress is you.

Starting a new business is not something to be taken lightly. You are likely making a significant commitment in time, money and reputation. The process of coming up with a business plan can help you ensure that you have made the right decision to start a business and have picked the right approach. Better to make mistakes on paper now than with your checkbook later.

You have come up with an idea whose time appears to have come. Maybe it is due to market conditions. Perhaps it is because of improvements in technology. Or maybe you just have a good idea. Whatever has inspired you to start a business, agonizing over it may only give someone else a chance to come up with the same concept. 

Think things through

But moving forward on your plan should not mean rushing ahead without thinking things through. Starting with a business plan compels you to lay out your ideas and find out if they make sense. Something that sounds great in your head may look different on paper or on the computer screen.

You may not want your initial version of a business plan to include every possible detail you can think of. Start by focusing on the basics – what someone needs to know to understand your concept. Define what your business is, what service you are providing or what goods you are creating, what it will cost to create this product, what you plan to charge, what your target market is and how you intend to turn a profit.

And if you do not already have a name for your company, come up with one. You may want to come up with a logo as well. Executive coach experts say that details such as a company name and logo help make a business that does not yet exist more tangible.

Examine your business plan

Now sit back and look at your business plan and your logo. Are you having second thoughts? If doubts are starting to creep in, it might mean that you have some tweaks to consider before showing anyone else your first business plan. Or it could mean that you’re starting to realize that the risks inherent in starting a new business may not be worth it in this case.

But if your business plan makes you more passionate than ever about pursuing your dream, then you have passed your first test. Your concept is becoming a reality, and your confidence is only growing. There will be bigger hurdles ahead, but by challenging yourself with your business plan, you will be more ready to handle them, and to use your business plan to attract potential partners and investors.

Ben Hargrove writes on executive, career and life coaching topics for sites like

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