They say that failing to plan is planning to fail. Are they right?

Winston Churchill is credited with saying: “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”

This very simple, but poignant statement is applicable in many areas of life. It applies not only the worlds of government and military affairs but also in the operations of a business. By taking the time to establish a plan, the entrepreneur exponentially increases the chance that their business will succeed.

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The failure rate of new businesses in the construction industry is high. According to Statistic Brain Research Institute, approximately 53% of businesses in the construction industry fail within 4 years. Of those businesses, 46% cite the lack of planning as a major cause in the failure of the business.

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One critical step that an entrepreneur entering the construction industry can take to insure a greater chance of success is to create a business plan. A business plan provides a resource that the founder and their team can use to guide and measure the progress and success of their endeavor. It is used to support and guide team members in the strategic decision making process.

Writing a business plan can appear to be a daunting and overwhelming task. Most first time business plan writers can feel intimidated by the goal of writing a business plan. They abandon it after they have attempted it because they lack the structure to see it through to completion.

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Here are several questions and tips for those who are just starting out writing their first business plan:

Who are you writing the plan for?

Don’t overwrite the plan. It is important to understand who you are writing your business plan for. There are a wide variety of audiences who may read business plans. These include stakeholders (e.g. insurance, creditors, banks, etc.) as well as investors. There are also situations where the plans are an exclusively internal document and will only be read by the founder and possibly some members of their team. The plan should be written to meet the goals of the audience that will be using the plan. Do not write the plan for an audience that will never read it.


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