A business plan often has different purposes for you and your business. You may use the same plan for your personal day to day business that you use for your company’s presentation to a bank. The plans can be from a minimum of 3 to 30 pages, but the way you utilize your plan is what can make your business plan your most important tool.
When you use your business plan for your daily business map, the plan functions as a working tool to help you better understand your company’s function, process and structure. Parts like company description (including infrastructure), products or services, marketing strategies, management and organizational structure (including personnel), and financial planning (including personal, start-up and capital), are pushed to the front and become more important.
When you find yourself referring to your plan to achieve short and midterm goals, you must now delve deeper into the details of your business and it’s functions. These details will help you to not only better gauge your company’s strengths and weaknesses but allow you to see what holes are in your company’s structure. Your business plan not only becomes a great reference guide for yourself but you can use portions as a concept for your collaterals, company policies, or other uses, helping to save time and in running your business more efficiently. These reasons can bring out some of the hidden gems in your business plan and is one of the best reasons not to skimp when having a business plan written.
When it’s time to present your company to investors or the bank it’s also time to break out all of the bells and whistles, to successfully start or expand your business. The folks providing you the capital for your business require a full understanding of your business’ functions, processes, structure and operation and the assurance that you understand them as well. Within the pages of your professionally written business plan is where you can find the hidden tools to gauge your company’s strengths, weaknesses and the holes in your business structure.
And remember, as your company’s structure changes, so should your business plan, whether it’s used daily as a personal guide, or in the most important crossroads of your company’s journey.