Planning Considerations for an Established Business - dummies

Planning Considerations for an Established Business

By Steven D. Peterson, Peter E. Jaret, Barbara Findlay Schenck

Owners of established businesses sometimes need a little (or even not so little) push to get into business planning. When you’re starting a venture, creating a business plan feels essential. You need to have all the answers at your fingertips when bankers, investors, or others ask you details, so you write a plan — or at least feel pangs of guilt if you didn’t.

But after your company is up and running, you can easily shove business planning to the back burner. Putting out daily fires trumps all other activities, and the thought of setting aside time to update or write a business plan begins to seem like an optional luxury.

And even when you have time, you may embrace the tenet, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” If business is going okay, why plan to change what’s working at the moment?

Here’s why: If you’re not fine-tuning your business to meet the realities of today and the forecasts for tomorrow, you’re apt to get overtaken — by technology, by competition, by market conditions, and by the changing world around you. Never has that been truer than today. Companies without a planning process in place that allowed them to respond quickly and strategically often found themselves out of business.

Whether you want to grow, seek financing, prepare for a sale, or plot a business turnaround, take stock of your business situation today so that you can develop a plan that steers you clear of trouble and toward opportunity in the days and years ahead.

If your established business doesn’t have a business plan, you’re on a trip without a road map, and that’s reason enough to start writing one today. Odds are you already have a plan, but it needs to be updated. If your business is like most established businesses, you’re getting ready to write or rewrite your business plan to address one of the following, pressing situations:

  • You’re raising capital or seeking new rounds of financing.

  • You’re positioning yourself for a sale or merger.

  • You’re preparing for business expansion.

  • You’re working to overcome business downturns or disruptions.