You have a great idea and the inspiration and motivation to start a business. You quickly whip up an outline of the steps you need to take to get started. Two days later you are open for business and looking for customers. First, let’s say congratulations! Few people have the moxie to start their own business. However, you may have missed a few steps or made some business planning mistakes that can hold you back in the future. No worries, all is not lost. You can return to your business plan, make some amendments, and have full confidence that your business is ready for the future.

Planning Mistake #1 Not Having a Business Plan at All

It’s surprising how many entrepreneurs launch their businesses without any sort of plan. How do you know what action to take and what direction to lead your business if there’s no plan? A business plan isn’t something that you create for someone else, you create it for you. It’s a roadmap to help you achieve your business goals. You’ll be able to refer to it anytime you’re looking to create a marketing strategy or launch a new product or service. Your business plan keeps you on track to achieve your business goals.

Planning Mistake #2 Not Doing Any Research

Your business plan should be based on knowledge and information. Who is your audience? Why are they your audience? Who is your competition and why? What makes you unique and why will people buy from you? How will you price your products or services, what will you offer and how will you offer it? These are just a few of the questions that need to be answered through detailed research. Don’t write your business plan in a vacuum.

Planning Mistake #3 Not Looking To the Future

Your business plan should be based on goals and a vision that’s several years out from now. What do you imagine your business looking like five or even ten years from now? Don’t be short sighted, create goals and a plan that take you well into the future. How are you going to change the world, provide value, and create the life of your dreams?

Other mistakes include not clarifying your vision and mission, forgetting to create a strong brand and selling point, and not identifying your target audience. If you want your business to thrive, sit down and create a comprehensive business plan. Create it for yourself and for your future.