When you have a business, one of the most important things to do is write a business plan. A business plan is a written document that outlines your goals, strategies and reasons for starting or expanding your business. It helps you determine what steps you need to take to achieve those goals and it keeps you on track as you build your company.

Here are five tips to help you create an effective business plan for your small business:

1.Make sure your goals are realistic and attainable.

2.Think about what’s going on in the world around you that could affect your business — both positively and negatively — and how you can respond accordingly.

3.Identify how much money you need to start up or expand the business, including expenses such as rent, utilities, insurance and supplies needed to operate day-to-day (e.g., pens, paper clips).

4.List all of the skills and abilities needed by each member of the team or company so they can do their jobs well (e.g., accounting experience for bookkeeping).

5.Outline how much time each person will devote to the company’s success (e.g., two hours per week).