Would you ever think of taking a trip to a foreign location without some type of tourist guide or map? Could you imagine doing this and then the feeling of suddenly realizing that you have no idea where you are or what to do? I would imagine that would be a terrifying experience. Fortunately people take trips like this all of the time and these types of experiences are averted through proper planning. Operating a business without a business plan is like taking a trip without a map. You do not want to dedicate precious time to building a business only to suddenly realize that you have no idea where you are or what to do.We often see entrepreneurs who are working so much on the day-to-day tasks of building the business that they do not take the time to properly plan. Usually the business owner did not take the time to properly plan for the future. This is one of the biggest mistakes a business owner can make. In this article I will outline 5 reasons an entrepreneur needs a business plan to keep their business on the right track.Provide a RoadmapA business plan provides a guideline to help you achieve your goals. Mapping out a plan helps you in determining which strategic path you will use to reach your desired destination. The research and brainstorming conducted during the writing of the plan will assist you in figuring out where the business should go while providing a complete set of instructions to help you get there. The primary goal of a business plan is to provide a roadmap that ensures your business is heading in the right direction and stays on course.As a Motivational Tool Business plans are very important for internal motivation and the motivation of stakeholders. While writing your plan the first step you should take is to identify the correct business plan template needed. Secondly, you must determine your vision, or where you want to see your business in the next 1-3-5-10 years. Creating this vision becomes a motivational tool because it allows you to see the possibilities you can create for your business if you follow the plan.Identify Strategic Integration A comprehensive business plan assists the entrepreneur in making a cohesive strategy that brings into account all the elements of the strategic business plan, and identifies how they associate with each other. Looking at the business in this way promotes the elimination of components of the plan that do not correlate with the greater vision. The plan helps you to identify how you can build your company over time. For example if you have an existing business you might try to expand the business through your existing clients. Your strategies might evolve around deepening your client relationships through customer relationship management. A system for reaching out to clients could help move the company forward.Increase Creativity Strategic business plans can help to increase the creativity associated with the business. Without creativity, your company is only one of the many competing for market share in your field, area, or industry. By using a creative approach you can design a business that sets itself apart in the marketplace with a distinctive look and brand. All too often, we see bland, boring marketing messages and products presented in uninspired ways. To succeed you must stand out in the crowd by getting creative and differentiating your business by identifying your competitive edge. A well-crafted business plan can help you do just that.Define Desired Outcomes In simple terms a business plan helps the entrepreneur get the job done. The business plan defines the desired outcomes and outlines the steps necessary to reach them. By performing the actions dictated in the business plan, the entrepreneur is able to stay on track. It is easy to get lost in the day-to-day details of the operation as pointed out before. By reviewing the plan periodically, the business owner is reminded to schedule time to do the strategic tasks outlined in the business plan. In short, taking focused and strategic action leads the entrepreneur to success.It is very important that an entrepreneur sets a direction before moving forward. This can only be done through proper business planning. Below is an honest review of a company that can help you do just that. It may be the key to your success.Make sure you set yourself up to be successful and do not find yourself in a strange land without a map. Develop a strategic business plan that will outline the growing success of your organization over time, and watch as your business succeeds beyond your wildest dreams.