Does it really matter? Don’t many businesses survive without one anyway? “Survive” is probably the key word in this discussion. If that’s all you want to do, sure, you probably won’t need a business plan.
What’s the big deal anyway? The “deal” gets bigger the more you want to achieve out of your business. In simplest terms, a business plan is a road map which outlines where you are, where you want to be and how you are going to get there. So in business, if you don’t have a map, how do you know whether you’ve arrived?
It would be pretty safe to assume that if you’re in business, you must have some outcome in mind – as a source of income, to eventually sell the business and make a profit etc. That is your destination. Some people say that the “how are you going to get there” part is what gets them. It’s amazing what the business planning process can do to uncover issues and help answer that question. It’s empowering and it builds confidence.
While the process itself is has immense benefits, its value is further extended when used appropriately after its conception. It then becomes an accountability tool, one that can be used to measure how far you’ve got and how far you have to go. Imagine having embarked on a journey and not knowing how far your destination is. How depressing would that be?
Of course, if you look hard enough, you would find businesses that have succeeded in spite of not having a business plan. Note the words “in spite of”. Imagine how much more could have been achieved if there had been a business plan.