Some entrepreneurs might disregard compiling a comprehensive business plan when starting their businesses, but it's an absolute imperative when running a company. Why? Because your business plan can predict the future.
When we started Mowery & Schoenfeld nearly 19 years ago, we had a vision and a rather concise business plan. I still have a copy of it. Over the years, we have regularly engaged in a strategic planning process and continued to develop our business plan and overall strategy. It has been really helpful for us to have a solid business plan forming the basis of the growth of our firm.
I have found that many businesses do not have a business plan. The result is that they just keep doing the same things over and over and never seem to emerge from an endless cycle of sameness. The most successful companies that I know have a vision and over strategy to get to where they want to be. All of this is documented in their business plan. The theory behind this is that if you write it down, you are more likely to get it done.
The point of a business plan is to provide management, investors, and lenders with an overview of the company's game plan, as well as an assessment of current operations. Remember, your business and the environment it operates in are always changing, and so too should your business plan.
Complete plans typically include six components:
- Executive Summary
- Business Description
- Industry and marketing analysis
- Management team description
- Implementation plan
If the plan includes these six components, adheres to sound strategies, and contains accurate data, your company's future success will be spelled out in black and white.