Why You Need a Business Plan – No Matter What Age Your Business Is
Oct 24, 2016
By: Cathie Ericson
What if you knew of a strategy shown to double your chance of success as a small business? That’s the impressive effect a great business plan can offer.
Why a business plan matters
Creating a business plan forces you to objectively consider a host of aspects to help crystallize the “what” and “how” of your proposed business. It also shows potential investors and partners that you have a roadmap for how your business will grow and develop.
“Creating your first business plan may have been a chore, but updating a plan is easier and more fun. Now … you have experimented and know what works and what doesn’t. Plus, you have existing information to use as a foundation," Shelton says.
A merger or acquisition: Did your dental practice purchase another? Your business plan should be updated to reflect the additional ownership and new market opportunities.
Expansion: When customers are driving across town for your amazing BBQ, it might be time to start thinking about opening another outlet. Or if clients are snapping up a certain product, consider a line extension. An updated business plan will detail new hard costs (equipment, manufacturing or leased space) as well as plans for customer acquisition.
Anniversary milestones: Just as you have an annual medical check-up, it can be smart to brush up your business plan regularly to help stay on course. Besides updating it for major events such as acquisitions and expansions, a regular check-in will ensure you’re on course with your expenses, revenue and market share expectations. Having a current business plan allows you to pivot your course as needed to meet specific benchmarks, and ensures you are ready if someone presents a new opportunity.
The real value of a business plan
The SCORE website states it best: “The real value of creating a business plan is not in having the finished product in hand, [but] in the process of researching and thinking about your business in a systematic way. The act of planning helps you to think things through thoroughly, study and research if you are not sure of the facts, and look at your ideas critically. It takes time now, but avoids costly, perhaps disastrous, mistakes later.”
About the Author
Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer covering business and consumer topics. She creates branded content for Fortune 500 companies, and her work has appeared in LearnVest, Costco Magazine, Forbes, TheGlassHammer.com and IDEA Fitness. Follow her @cathieericson.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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