By Eugene Green

Your business enterprise is likely to be more successful more quickly if you start it and grow it based on a written, well thought out business plan. When used properly, the business plan will serve as your road map on your highway to success. 

It may seem obvious that one should have a plan prior to investing both financial resources and significant time in a new venture. However, the fact remains that many entrepreneurs simply get caught up in the emotional appeal of business ownership without taking into account both the full opportunities and potential obstacles to them doing successful business.

So, we’ve all heard of business enterprises that got started and were successful without owning a written business plan. While that may be the case, it is important to keep in mind that it can only enhance your chances for greater success by having a three to five-year plan to which you can refer from time to time. In addition, I’ll bet that there are many more examples than we know of successful business owners having put their plans into writing at the start of and soon after commencing their operations.

The U. S. Small Business Administration suggests that a good business plan should include certain components. Among them are an Executive Summary that includes, among other things, your goals, a Company Description, a Market Analysis, an identification of your Business Structure, a description of the Service or Product that you will provide, a detailed Marketing Plan, an Analysis of your Funding / Financing needs, a Financial Projection should you plan to seek financing, and an Appendix that includes supporting info such as copies of your business license, and more. See for more info.

No matter where you are in the operation of your business, a well contemplated business plan can help your business to grow.  The plan can aid in your efforts to secure a loan or contract. Most important, the plan will motivate you to do business in a manner that addresses both the plan’s identified opportunities and expected challenges. 

greenEugene Green studied economics at Harvard University, earning a bachelor of arts degree. He founded and has operated Nationwide Real Estate Corporation for 27 years. He has served as the leader of the city of New Orleans Division of Economic Development, as the Chief of Staff for the Louisiana Second Congressional District, and as the president of the New Orleans Regional Business Park.