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.
Potential business partners need to know how their investment will be used, and ultimately, what it will achieve for the business. In this sense, your business plan is like your ambassador - showing how the various elements of your company are integrated into a vibrant whole
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.
It is definitely not the most exciting part of starting a business. In fact, if you are like a lot of entrepreneurs, you are probably going to find yourself pulling a few all-nighters to get one done before heading into your first pitch for funding. Because that is the thing--your business plan is a pretty important.