Saturday, November 27th, 2021

5 Reasons Your Existing Company Needs a Business Plan

By Guest Blogger on Apr 13 2012 • Filed under Business

Write a Business Plan for your Existing BusinessBusiness plan writing is tough. You have all the ideas in your head, and writing them down and organizing them is an arduous task. Besides, your business is already running, and you have customers, so it’s easy to put off writing or changing your business plan. If everything’s already going great, why should you write or revise your business plan?

1. These are Tough Times

No matter where in the world you operate your business, economic uncertainty is a reality. To stay competitive and keep your revenues steady, you need to know what your market is up to. Will your customers continue to buy your products and services at the same price? Are they finding substitutes? Are their needs evolving? Part of a great business plan is a thorough market and industry analysis that’s kept up to date. How is your industry adapting to shifts in the economy? Has supply or demand evolved? Are there any new competitors? What are the biggest challenges your industry is facing? How is the market reacting?

2. You Need Money

Your business needs money in order to grow, and you might have to get that money from a bank or an investor. Even if your investor is your mom, you need a business plan, and she’d be smart to ask you to write one. The person with the money absolutely needs to know that you fully understand your business and your environment, because it’s changing all the time. Your vision might change too, and you need to articulate it to stay on track. Remember, the people with the money want to know you’re not getting complacent.

In order to engage new stakeholders and get them excited about your business, your business plan must be current, succinct, and relevant. It needs to be accessible and easy to read. It needs to follow up on your previous objectives by showing where you reached your goals and where you had trouble.

3. It’s Foggy Up Ahead

Since we can’t predict the future or see exactly where our businesses are headed, the best we can do is plan a path and do our best to follow it. You might already be in a strong cash position and generating revenue, but you can create a guideline that shows that you’re measuring your business’s current state, and that you can adapt should your business environment change (because it will). You can’t predict the future – not even these huge brands could – but you can plan for many possible outcomes.

4. Your Business Can Be Copied

When you started your business, you might have been unique – but chances are, someone else is now trying to do what you do, or do something similar and competing for the same customers. You need a plan to differentiate yourself from your competitors, because like it or not, if you don’t already have them, you will. Knowing your competitive advantage and incorporating that into a business plan that you can refer to any time you face a challenge is key to ensuring that you will continue to make money as your direct and indirect competition evolves.

5. Your People Need to Know

A business plan is a valuable tool for your employees and internal stakeholders; it may instil confidence in the people who work for you. They will know that you’re not floundering, that you’ve considered the future of the company and how your employees play a role in that development. A business plan is an exceptional internal document to share confidentially inside your company, because the long-term path of the company is usually not clear to everyone. How long can you maintain your current growth rate? Will the market become saturated? Will you have to diversify in order to keep growing? You need to know this stuff, and so do the people who work for you.

A business plan can be a powerful tool for growth, if it’s thorough and well-written. Don’t put it off!

Jessica Oman owns Write Ahead Consulting, a business plan writing, copy writing and editing firm servicing small businesses and start-ups. She is a two-time UBC alumni with degrees in English and Education, and holds an MBA from Simon Fraser University. Jessica is a hockey enthusiast, proud dog owner and obsessive cyclist.

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