If you’re just planning on picking up some freelance work to supplement your income, you can skip the business plan.
But, if you’re embarking on a more significant endeavor that’s likely to consume a significant amount of time, money, and resources, then you need a business plan.
Every business has long-term and short-term goals, sales targets, and expense budgets—a business plan encompasses all of those things and is as useful to a startup trying to raise funds as it is to a 10-year-old business that’s looking to grow.
The most classic business planning scenario is for a startup, for which the plan helps the founders break uncertainty down into meaningful pieces, like the sales projection, expense budget, milestones, and tasks.
In this case, the business plan is focused on explaining what the new company is going to do, how it is going to accomplish its goals, and—most importantly—why the founders are the right people to do the job.