A business plan is a crucial activity for any entrepreneur or business owner looking to start or expand their business. Without a plan a business is likely to fail or stagnate.
Any funder worth his or her salt wants to see it right off the bat. Moreover though, a solid business plan is a living document that will continue to guide your efforts as your business grows. A lot of those mistakes (most of them, in fact) are the result of poor planning. Bad location, a marginal niche, having no specific user in mind, raising too much or too little money--all of these issues can be prevented or at least mitigated with good planning.
We often ask business owners to include a business plan when they apply for bank finance. Consider that, in the same way as you would test-drive a vehicle before purchasing it, we need information about your company before we partner with you.
A business plan gives an outline of your business, the market in which it will operate and how it aims to make money - and should answer this question: why will your business succeed when so many others fail?