If you were contemplating driving off on an adventure to some unknown parts you would probably check some maps and do some research on the best way to go and set the GPS.
If you have recently started a business you should do the same. Establish some goals and objectives. Then think about how you might achieve those and what this will require. You need to set some specific marketing objectives and timeline the implementation of these. Think also about the resources required – materials, plant staff and finance.
Be careful not to underestimate working capital. The cost of getting started is comparatively simple to predict. How long it will take to become cash positive is much more difficult. You need to make sales, invoice customers and wait to receive their payments. In the interim you need to pay your operating expenses. This will require spare (working) capital and or some bank finance.
If you approach your bank for financial assistance they will want to see your business plan as part of their assessment. They will also want some financial forecasts or budgets based upon the plan.
There is no right or wrong plan. It does not have to run to extensive pages of highly coloured print. Just clearly lay out the objectives, the actions required to achieve these and include some financial projections. Even 2 to 3 pages is sufficient provided it hits the right notes!
To make your plan of real use you need to assign responsibilities and timelines. This will give some accountability and prevent the business just drifting along.
Once you have your plan do not just let it gather dust. Refer to it frequently and use it to monitor the performance of the business. If things are not working to plan, review and make changes now. Do not just wait for things to come right. They rarely do by themselves!
A sound plan and regular reviews will greatly enhance the chance of success for your business. It is the GPS of your business!
If you use this process you will arrive at your business destination in much better shape than your competitor who just sets off with no plan.