You don’t have any new products, expansions or projects in R&D so you don’t have any need for a new business plan either, right? Wrong! It doesn’t matter what projects you do or do not have in the hopper at any given time, a business plan is an essential operational tool. In fact, you really should be thinking of a business plan as one of your projects – no different from a new advertising campaign or annual inventory.
When business is good and it seems like you have no need for a fresh business plan is actually the exact time that you need one the most. Having a regular schedule set in which a new business plan is drawn up by an outside business plan writer is actually a bit like having a folder of car maintenance records. You can go back through them and quickly see when the last audit, upgrade or expansion idea was discussed. You can see what factors were in play when operations were at their best (and worst) which can almost act like a diagnostics tool should your focus get blurry.
The misconception that too many small businessmen hold is that a business plan is something you only need when seeking financing. In reality, the uses and usefulness of a professionally prepared business plan are only limited by the scope of how they are viewed by the entity they were created for. If you see them as only useful for financing, then you miss out on the many other benefits they carry along with them. If you ever have any doubts as to the many uses of a business plan, ask a business plan consultant, they can likely provide you with a wealth and depth of knowledge regarding business plans you never realized existed before.