It’s exciting to start something new, and it’s human nature to just want to dive right in. However, it would be a big mistake to march forward without a plan. The old saying “failing to plan is planning to fail” is never truer than in business. Be prepared to start your business on a solid foundation by having a plan.

A business action plan is different than a business plan. Although some of the same principles are incorporated into each.

A business plan outlines your vision for your business. It helps you gather your thoughts on how you want your business to function. A business plan helps you determine the structure of your business and prepares you for requesting business funding or a business partner.

A business action plan helps you execute your vision by providing you a map of what you need to accomplish to make your vision a reality. A business action plan forces you to think through where you are going and what you will be doing. It’s more than a to-do list. A business action plan helps keep you focused and promotes action and progress.

Here are 5 reasons you should have a business action plan:

1. It’s Your Business Blueprint

A business action plan is a blueprint for your business. You wouldn’t build a house without a plan, and you shouldn’t start a business without a good set of directions. Your business action plan will help you create a road map that will help you build, maintain, and later, expand your business. It will help you begin your business journey more confidently.

2. Creates Clarity

By thinking through what you will do, how you will do it, and when you will do it, you will be more focused, maintain momentum, and minimize blockages and stagnancy in your business. A business action plan helps you envision how you’ll turn your vision into reality.

3. Creates Focus and Awareness

A business action plan helps you clearly identify potential risks that may prevent your success and helps you plan for overcoming them so they don’t get in your way.

4. Promotes Action

Having an action plan takes the guesswork out of what to do next. Let’s face it, a lot of the time you procrastinate because you just aren’t sure what it will take to get things done. A plan eliminates stagnancy and promotes action, so you can make things happen.

5. Sense of Accomplishments

We all want to know we’re successful. If you have an action plan, you’ll accomplish what you set out to do and check in regularly to see how you’re doing. It’s the most satisfying feeling knowing you’re accomplishing things. Feeling accomplished continues to give you the momentum to keep your business going and growing.

Creating Your Business Action Plan

A business action plan is not a one-time event. Creating an action plan should be a recurring event in your business to ensure you keep moving and don’t miss important steps in your process. It can be a powerful tool to continue to grow your business, help you develop new products or services, and keep you on top of the daily tasks.

Scheduling regular reviews of your action plan ensures you’re heading in the direction you intended, helps you identify potential roadblocks, and keeps you moving.

Many potential business moguls give up too soon because they get stuck and don’t know what to do next. Do your homework, be thorough, and start your business off strong. You can do this if you do it right!