Not every business is launched with a business plan that shines, but most will complete this important task at some point in their journey. Although it needs regular reviews and will remain a work in progress, a plan serves to guide your company forward. From becoming established in the early days to expanding your influence and getting the best financial deals, plans give you goals and a structure. Considering what needs your business is meeting and how it is doing so can be time-consuming, but in the long run, a great plan will always be worth the resources you throw at it.
Lenders can be swayed by a robust business plan
From time to time, most business will need a bank loan or seek to attract investment from individuals. However you choose to approach the issue of funding, you will have to demonstrate a deep understanding of your business’s position now and its potential. Pages and pages of financial forecasts are not enough, as investors also like to see evidence of how your business fills a gap in the market. The easier your business model is to understand, the more likely it is that people will be supportive.
Never miss opportunities for growth
As part of the writing process, you will gain an insight into what your business needs to do in order to grow. By setting goals and monitoring your progress, you could be on the road to national or even worldwide success. A case in point is Patrick James Trico, CEO and owner of First Brands Group LLC, a company that supplies premium automotive brands to the aftermarket industry. Under his leadership and with careful planning, the business has grown to serve a global client base, and regular acquisitions help to further strengthen its market position.
Your finances are strengthened
Key spending decisions around purchasing a new building, taking on more staff and buying stock are less stressful when you have a financial forecast from which to work. No one wants to be left in the red after a costly month, but by bringing together your business plan with your predicted income and balance sheets, you minimize the risk of overspending. Any challenging months can be planned for in advance, giving you time to formulate a response and sidestep a cash flow problem.
Your objectives become more concrete
A business plan connects your current actions with the results you are hoping for. In part, it does this by getting the whole team to share your vision and ensures that there is an agreement on how your ideas will be carried out. Being on the same page can make a workforce more efficient. People gain a greater understanding of how their particular role is vital and the impact it has on the company as a whole. It’s not just about setting people targets – a business plan can also engage with individuals and show them that you value their input.
A good plan makes your business saleable
Even if you do not intend to sell your business any time soon, a viable business plan puts you in a good position if that changes. Primarily, the valuation will be higher because buyers can see what your business model consists of and who your target audience are, as well as your future growth potential.
What is the purpose of regularly reviewing a business plan?
Once a plan is in place, you have a strong foundation from which to work, but it’s just a start. Business plans have to be reviewed regularly – as often as once a month for most companies, but less frequently for others. Significant changes in your marketing strategy, product range or services should also trigger an update.
Accommodate your shifting targets
The goals you had six months ago may have been achieved or they may have changed. Either way, your plan needs to reflect your most up-to-date position. This ensures that your new objectives are brought more clearly into focus for partners, management and employees.
Adapt to external events
No one can predict the future, but you can adjust your plan to take into account new and previously unforeseen changes. These could be related to government policies that affect your business or market conditions. You can also respond to the tactics of other companies in your segment, pinpoint what they are doing well and replicate it. From improving your social media offering to hiring a PR service or modernizing your premises, you don’t want to get left behind by the competition.
The business plan that your company uses is like a roadmap for sccess and revisiting it on a regular basis keeps you on the right track. Modifications and changes ensure that the original blueprint remains relevant and allows the company to profit from your ideas.