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The Benefits of Business Planning: Part One

The Business Plan

What Is a Business Plan?

Perhaps the most important document for any company, a business plan is a written tool that acts as a roadmap to success.  It is built around a clear statement of goals and a feasible plan for achieving those goals.  A working business plan should project 12-18 months into the future and explicate how a company intends to grow revenues over that period of time. 

There is no one correct way to draft a business plan.  While all credible business plans contain common elements, most will vary in length, goals, and scope. 

Why Create a Business Plan?

Business Plans…
  • Identify key points that will ultimately lead to successful operation
  • Ensure business organization
  • Increase the credibility of a company
  • Improve the chances of funding or financing from investors and financial institutions
  • Effectively point out business functions
  • Allow executives to pinpoint where the company is headed
  • Help companies identify their target markets effectively and allocate funds more efficiently
  • Act as a resource for future planning
Who Should Be Involved?

Anyone who has accountability.  For example:
  • Owner and/or general manager
  • Sales manager
  • Administrative manager
  • Technical manager
What Should be Included in a Business Plan?
  • A description of your company
  • Details about the marketplace
  • Sales/marketing information
  • Business operations information
  • Budgets

Writing a business plan does not have to be a drawn out, groan-inducing process, but it will require you to sit down and analyze your short-term and long-term goals.  Whether you’re just starting out, growing your business, or seeking help from investors, a sound business plan will work to keep you on track. 

Stay tuned for an in-depth look at the main components of a business plan.