I recently came across a great inspirational quote from Mark Zuckerberg. You know… the Facebook guy.

If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.

I’ll be honest with you. The first time I read this, I was actually really inspired by this, because it definitely ticks a few important boxes on an internal checklist I have about how my eventual startup will take shape and become the most successful company of all time.

A person making a checklist in a notebook

Then I read it again and realised I have passion, but I really lack a master plan on how to take said passion and make it into a business that actually works. Turns out no one wants a mobile app that gives them unsolicited advice every day. Most already have something like that in their lives…

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But on a serious note, here’s why a master plan really matters.

A plan helps you prioritise

A complete business plan is one of the most valuable tools in helping you reach your long-term goals. It provides business direction, defines your objectives, maps out strategies to achieve your goals and helps you deal with roadblocks.

The preparation of the business plan will also help you understand your goals and the how to achieve them. You can now focus your resources and energy on what you need to do, rather than spreading yourself too thin.

However, having a business plan isn’t enough. You need to constantly update and rethink the plan so that you can:

  • Remind yourself of your goals and priorities
  • Assess your progress and growth
  • Adapt to new changes
  • Take advantage of new

It helps you maintain business control

Your business plan allows you to take a controlled and clear overview of your business.

If you have employees, the planning process can be a good opportunity to seek their feedback on possible ideas and improvements. This helps improve morale and helps them also understand and engage better with your business.

While it is true that business planning can seem overwhelming and time-consuming, many successful businesses look at it as an opportunity to spur business growth.

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The development of your business plan gives you the chance to:

  • Learn about your industry, market and competitors
  • Identify challenges you may come across and work out strategies to avoid or overcome them
  • Understand your business finances, such as managing cash-flow and determining your break-even point
  • Set important business goals, deadlines for achieving them and how you’ll measure success

Investors need a business plan to invest

Getting investment is hard folks. So, if you’re seeking finance or investment for your business, you’ll need to show the banks and investors why your business is worth the risk on their side.

Lenders and investors will only risk their time and money if they’re confident that your business will be successful and profitable.

A solid, well-researched business plan:

  • Shows that you’re serious about your business and growth
  • Helps lenders and investors understand your business idea
  • Shows them the returns you can provide