It is human nature to be excited about beginning something that is new, but it is a mistake to dive right into it without a plan. The saying that “failing to plan is planning to fail” is true in business, so be prepared to launch your business by having a plan in place.

A business plan and a business action plan may have some similar principles, but they are different. A business plan sets out your goals and helps you recognise how you want your business to work. It helps you identify the structure of your business and readies you for discussing investments, funding and partnerships. Meanwhile, a business action plan gives you a map of what steps you need to take to execute your vision and make it a reality. This will help you recognise where you are going and what you will be doing. That is why it is important to have your own business action plan.

Think of it as a blueprint for your business – just as you cannot build a house without a blueprint, you shouldn’t start a business without a business action plan. Having one will enable you to formulate a road map that will assist in developing, maintaining and growing your business. This way, you can have more confidence when you begin your business journey.

A business plan will give you clarity by helping you consider what you will do, how you’ll do it and when you’ll do it. This gives you more momentum, focus and helps minimise any stagnancy or blocks in your business. It also creates awareness and focus, as you can recognise potential problems that might inhibit your success, and enables you to overcome them.

Promote action by creating a plan that removes guesswork and gives you an idea of what it will take to get things done. You can make things happen by promoting action and eliminating stagnancy. Having an action plan will help you achieve what you set out to accomplish and give you the momentum needed to keep your business moving.

Creating a business action plan is not something you do only once. Do it often to make sure that your business is moving and that you haven’t missed any important steps during the process. Review your action plan regularly so that you know you are moving in the right direction. Many business owners give up too soon because they hit a roadblock and don’t know where to go next. Be thorough, do your homework and start your business strong.