When you are writing your business plan, you aren’t thinking about the true future of your business. Typically you are thinking about funding. Who could blame you. Coming to an investor, bank or an angel investor, you are thinking how can I sell my idea to show that it is solid enough to repay the loan in X years. Once most business owners get the money, their business plan sits in a file cabinet never to be looked at again.
Hands down, the worst mistake you are making is that you forget that the business plan is going to help you the business owner to focus on creating a sustainable and profitable business for at least 10 years. What you need isn’t a business plan. You need an active business plan.
An active business plan declares why there is a need for the business in the area it serves, and how it would be different from its competition. It satisfies these questions: Does the costs vs. projected income project a profit worthy of the risks involved? Does the payoff provide enough motivation to sustain its ownership through the tough times? It also, should have a plan for growth if the business does well. (Think minimum of two years and up to 10 years out.)
Never start a business with the lived goal of just trying to survive. The real goal in the business plan and in your head needs to be from day one to thrive in and dominate the market.