Here are some of key ways that you may benefit from having a business plan: * Taking the time to consider your business strategy and the competitive landscape will help you make better decisions that point your new business in the right direction. * A business plan can help you prioritize how to spend your time and money most effectively — which is critical to keeping a business running. * For SBA and some larger loans and lines of credit, lenders may require a formal business plan before providing credit. Investors may also want to see how you map out your strategy and goals. * A business plan lays out the current and future obstacles you may face and can help you anticipate and avoid potential risks in these areas — instead of reacting to them after the fact. * A business plan can help you navigate internal challenges, such as helping to prevent conflicts between owners, employees, and other key stakeholders by clearly defining the roles of all parties and coordinating a strategy that everyone agrees on.