Mature woman working from her home office.

With the current state of the economy and pandemic, competition is fierce this year. If you’re in the midst of starting a new business, you’re playing a whole different ball game against other challenges. But that doesn’t mean you have to let outside forces, like COVID-19 or the market, deter you from setting foot on the right path to success in starting a new business venture.

If you’re an entrepreneur with an innovative idea or an entrepreneur with some great ideas just waiting to blossom, it’s important to steer your ship on the right course. And, what better time to start planning your business than during #WriteABusinessPlanMonth? This is a time nationally dedicated to planning, prioritizing, and preparing for a better future in 2021! 

As you get started, take a look at the top five mistakes people make while developing a business plan.

1. Not being clear or direct

It’s important that your business outline starts with concise and simple concepts so that your plan stays on track. Everything in your outline from your mission statement to your business model should be understandable for every reader, including yourself.

2. Inconsistency and disorganization

We know that there is a lot that goes into developing a business plan. It can even seem daunting to start at times. But that’s where consistency and organization come in handy. It’s best to take your planning outline one step at a time and consistently dedicate time towards developing it on a regular schedule. This way, you won’t be consumed by an unhealthy work-life balance.

3. Skipping steps

Make sure that the information throughout your outline makes sense in consecutive order. Think of it this way — you wouldn’t skip a step in a recipe, would you? The same mentality applies to cultivating a business plan. Each step of the outline is just as important as the next.

4. Not utilizing resources

There are tons of resources out there for people aspiring to start a new business, many of which can be accessed for free online. For example, the Maryland Women’s Business Center offers business-plan-intensive classes that provide you with the right tools and resources to get you and your business back on track, despite any setbacks you may face. Sign up for our next class now to get started.

5. Planning alone

As the old saying goes: Those who travel alone go quickly. Those who travel far, travel together. When it comes to business planning, it’s ideal to both travel quickly and far, so it’s okay to ask for help or advice when you need it. After all, that’s what business networking is for!

Should you find yourself making any of these mistakes, remember, it is okay to make them. In fact, the more mistakes, the better because you can’t succeed without failure. So, the important thing to do is avoid errors where you can, learn from the ones you do make, and work to create a better process moving forward.

Explore more business resources and planning tips for FREE on Maryland Women’s Business Center website.