Yes, business plans are certainly necessary if you're asking someone financially inclined to lend you money. They usually are very detailed and there's good discipline in going through all the detailed items to make sure that you've not forgotten any important factors. I've done many in my life and helped many others to write them too.
However if I may express a contrarian position. I've sometimes heard people say something like the following 6 months after completing their business plan. "Well I've been following my business plan, I've done what I said I would do and it's not working." Unfortunately in completing your business plan, you may get so involved in the trees that you don't see the wood. It's very important to have a sound strategy that is highly likely to make money. You must also assume that sales will be slower than you hoped and that any loans from financial agents will come very much more slowly than you would like. I've tried to simplify this thinking in a short acronym, NUB
. This means that you've got to get right the following:
N for Niche: the market niche of potential clients who will buy your products or services
U for USP (Unique Selling Proposition): the reason why your offerings are so much better than the competition for people in this Niche.
B is any word relating to cash. That could be Bottom Line, Balance Sheet, Bucks. It could even be 'Back of the Envelope Cash flow projection'.
The B is critical. You've got to know that you can survive long enough and that eventually the business will make you as rich as you want to be.
For those interested you'll find this all spelled out in greater detail in a recent Newsletter, The NUB Of Your Marketing Strategy
I hope, Linda, this doesn't take your thread too far off direction and is hopefully useful.