Most successful businesses have created a business plan at some point, usually before their start-up. Why? A business plan is needed to address all of the central components to starting a business. It is essential to make sure that you, as a new entrepreneur have carefully thought through many if not all, of the important components of your business. Ideally, you need to do this BEFORE starting your business. What is a business plan? Business plans are generally prepared for two reasons: 1. To obtain financing for the business 2. To help determine if essential components of starting a business have been considered. Often times with new entrepreneur's (and sometimes even with the more experienced!) they overlook certain aspects of starting a business. So the business plan helps to ensure that most, if not all reasonable questions have been answered and strategies thought about. Although business plans are often considered optional - they serve a vital importance to entrepreneurs.