The process of putting together a business plan, including the thought you put in before beginning to write it, forces you to take an objective, critical, unemotional look at your business project in its entirety. The business plan is an operating tool, which, if properly used, will help you, manage the business and work effectively towards its success.

The importance of planning cannot be over emphasized. By taking an objective look at your business, you can identify areas of weakness and strength, pinpoint needs you might otherwise overlook, spot opportunities early, and begin planning how to best achieve your business goals. The business plan also helps you see problems before they grow large and helps you identify their source, thus suggesting ways to solve them. A well-prepared business plan will even help avoid some problems altogether.

The business plan also provides information needed by others to evaluate your venture, especially if you will need to seek outside financing. A thorough business plan can quickly become a complete financing proposal that will meet the requirements of most lenders. Assistance in writing an effective business plan is available through local Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers.

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