PREPARE A BUSINESS PLAN FOR GROWTH
The benefits of ongoing business planning
Most potential investors will want to see a business plan before they consider funding your business. Although many businesses are tempted to use their business plans solely for this purpose, a good business plan should set the course of a business over its lifespan. Defining your business' purpose in your business plan keeps you focused, inspires your employees and attracts customers.
A business plan plays a key role in allocating resources throughout a business. It is a tool that can help you attract new funds or that you can use as a strategy document. A good business plan shows how you would use the bank loan or investment you are asking for. See use your business plan to get funding.
Evolving business plan
Ongoing business management means that you can monitor whether you are achieving your business objectives. A business plan can be used as a tool to identify where you are now and in which direction you wish your business to grow. A business plan ensures your business remains focused therefore helping you to meet certain key targets and manage business priorities.
You can maximise your chances of success by adopting a continuous and regular business planning cycle that keeps the plan up to date. This should include regular business planning meetings which involve key people from the business.
Assessing business performance
If you regularly assess your performance against the business plan and targets you have set, you are more likely to meet your objectives. Doing this can also signpost where and why you're going astray. Many businesses choose to assess progress every three or six months.
The business performance assessment will also help you in discussions with banks, investors and even potential buyers of your business. Regular review is a good vehicle for showing direction and commitment to employees, customers and suppliers. See measure performance and set targets.