A business plan is a written document that describes a business, its objectives, its strategies, the market it is in and its financial forecasts. It has many functions, from securing external funding to measuring success within your business.
Planning your business is a necessary process to undertake before, during and after you start. Writing the plan down helps to clarify your thinking and identifies where you intend to get to and how you intend to get there. You will also be able to review your progress against your forecast and make any necessary adjustments to get you back on track.
A business plan is a living document that will help you monitor your performance and stay on track and will therefore need updating and changing as your business grows. Having a clearly presented document will also make it easier for any specialist you may use to provide support. In the case of raising funds from a bank or investor a business plan will be a necessary requirement.