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A lot of those mistakes (most of them, in fact) are the result of poor planning.
Bad location, a marginal niche, having no specific user in mind, raising too much or too little money--all of these issues can be prevented or at least mitigated with good planning.
And you want to get to there, a point in the future (usually three to five years out), at which time your business will have a different set of resources and abilities as well as greater profitability and increased assets.
Your plan shows how you will get from here to there.
A business plan is a written description of your business's future, a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it.
If you jot down a paragraph on the back of an envelope describing your business strategy, you've written a plan, or at least the germ of one. You start here, today, with certain resources and abilities.
Related: 7 Steps to a Perfectly Written Business Plan You can visit our small business encyclopedia to learn more about business plans or our Form Net area to get the necessary forms to get started.
Video: What Investors Really Think About Your Business Plan.