The data is very clear. According to a study reported by Small Business Trends, entrepreneurs who have business plans are twice as likely to obtain capital and more likely to grow than entrepreneurs who do not.

But the biggest benefit of a business plan is the thinking you’re forced to do while creating it. You will get new ideas that will make your business even better. You will figure out ways to overcome potential obstacles along the road to startup. You will identify alternate routes you can take if things don’t work out quite as you expected.

This is the fourth in a series of columns that provide several helpful business topics for the new small business. It is based on one of SCORE’s recent projects developed with the help of and in partnership with FedEx. This project is called “Startup Roadmap” and outlines every step in starting a business.

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