Business owners looking to buy or sell a company may think they can skip the creation of a new or updated business plan. But that can be a critical misstep.
"If you are looking to buy or sell a business, and you are asking yourself whether you really need to write or update a business plan, then you need to ask yourself some even more important questions," said Joseph Ferriolo, director of Wise Business Plans, which provides individualized, custom-designed business plans for startups and expanding businesses. "If you're looking to sell, you need to consider whether you're really presenting your business in the best light without a clear road map showing the new owner that success is reachable.
"And if you're looking to buy, well, you need to ask yourself who is going to be in control of the business: you or the previous owner. Without a plan that you have a hand in crafting, you are letting someone else drive your future."
When considering purchase of a business, Ferriolo said reviewing the company's current plan to ensure it aligns with your expectations, goals and acceptable risk levels is basic due diligence.
This means a smart purchaser will want to see an up-to-date business plan before buying any company, so sellers should be prepared to produce one.
"A business plan is really a living document, evolving with the company. It's more than just a way to secure funding — it's structural support for growth."
Without clear evidence of good planning, a business can — and often should — look like too much risk to a potential buyer, he said.
"The sale or purchase of a business is a big decision that can impact many lives," Ferriolo said. "That's the kind of decision where planning is more than a bonus — it is a nonnegotiable requirement."
Wise Business Plans (wisebusinessplans.com), staffed with professional MBA writers, researchers and financial experts, is a trusted partner for businesses across a broad spectrum of products and services. Our mission is to empower our clients to make the best possible business decisions, boost company performance and facilitate their funding success by laying the groundwork for strong businesses that excite, inspire and retain talented and exceptional employees.