Business owners know how important business plans are to the success of a startup. They’re required for bank loans and pitching to investors. They can also be a powerful tool to increase the odds of success when you’re expanding.
In an article I wrote for bplans titled How to Plan a Business Expansion Using Your Business Plan, I explained how I used the business plan process to tap a new market when I was the Program Manager for a group of investment advisors.
The plan document itself obviously isn’t what’s so useful. It’s the thought that went into it and the discipline it provides.
Using the plan as a checklist makes sure you haven’t missed a critical component of your expansion plan.
Thinking through each section of a business plan helps you clarify opportunities and identify weaknesses. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of growth. As I say in my article, “Business owners and managers make optimistic assumptions about a project’s success when they are emotionally committed to an idea.”
Writing your ideas out helps you see your plan more objectively. You also have to run the numbers to make sure the expansion is profitable.
Finally, the plan can then be used to execute the strategy. It gives you an outline to develop a project and task list. You can use your document to communicate and delegate the plan to your staff.
- Rob Stephens
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