Whether your business has been established for decades, or you’re just preparing to open your doors, a well-written and robust business plan can be a foundational document to your company that can act as a resource and asset when times are good, and when times are bad. It is important to look at your business plan as a living document, and planning for your business as an ongoing process. Supply and demand can change rapidly overnight, so it vital you have a dedicated team in your corner looking out for your company’s future, and offering you guidance along the way.
As you plan and grow your business, Geddes & Company, P.C. can be that helping hand you need to navigate the local economy and marketplace. We offer tailored strategic business planning solutions to fit every company’s needs and work hard to understand your industry as well as you do.
Understanding the Planning Process
Before you sit down with the expert business planners at Geddes & Company, P.C. take the time to review the following list we have compiled of helpful tips to aid in the planning process.
Know the Value of a Solid Business Plan
More naive business owners may tend to write-off the planning process as unnecessary. Don’t make the mistake of undervaluing a well thought-out business plan. A robust business plan will help your company clarify its goals, set benchmarks, and serve as a reference point as your business grows. Additionally, your business plan can provide the factual analysis you will need to base decisions about growth and investment off of in the future.
Dig Into the Details
Overly abstract or nebulous business plans may become outdated or unuseful after a short period of time. Take the time to get specific with the who, what, when, where and how of your business plan. The more factual detail you include in a business plan, the better the document will serve your company throughout its existence, especially during future business plan revisions.
Do Your Homework
The success of a business plan is rooted in its utility. Look to work with the experts at Geddes & Company, P.C. to create a document that is well researched and based in reality. Take the time to look into your business’ current marketplace. Find out everything you can about your client base, your potential competitors, and the economic outlook for your industry.
Be Aware of Your Financial Situation
Arguably the most important component of your business plan, information about how your business will be financed, especially in the early stages of development, will go a long way to attractive alternative sources of financing and potential investors. Work with a professional to scrutinize your current finances, to explore potential sources of financing if necessary, and to develop projections of future revenue streams.
Understand Your Potential Income and Expenses
A successful business plan will be full of hard numbers and data about the costs associated with your business. Don’t just estimate amounts or use placeholders. Consult the professionals at Geddes & Company, P.C. to develop a plan that draws from a variety of data sources to paint an accurate picture of the world you will be doing business in. Research the supply chain for your company’s product or service and get to know what you can expect to spend as a new business owner. You will need to include information not only about the cost of your product or service, but also about the costs of doing business, such as insurance, permits, and other overhead expenses. Having a strong understanding of the actual expenses you can expect to incur will help limit any surprises.
Tell Your Story
Take the time to add a sense of narrative to your business plan. Not everyone who reads your business plan will be an industry expert, so it is important to write a plan that contains the human element. Try to include a brief exposition about your company, your experience and qualifications for your chosen industry, and why you are passionate about this venture. A business plan that tells your story will go a long way toward attracting potential investors who may not be well-versed in corporate jargon and data.
Take as Much Time and Space as Needed
Writing an effective business plan won’t happen overnight. Be sure to set aside at least several weeks to develop your business plan so you won’t feel rushed or forced to remove valuable information and research. Don’t feel limited by a hypothetical number of pages or timeframe. By including a synopsis at the beginning of your plan, you can be certain the key elements are prioritized, while using the body of the plan to extrapolate the necessary details.
Adjust Your Plan as Necessary
Remember that your business plan should serve as a living document and can be adjusted as circumstances change. Don’t feel bound to your first draft. The planning process for your business should be ongoing. Schedule a future date to review your business plan with the experts at Geddes & Company, P.C. preferably on an annual or bi-annual basis. A strong foundational plan can be easily updated as your business grows and your life and goals change.
Use Your Plan as a Reference
Many business owners make the mistake of taking the time to draft a strong business plan, then let it collect dust on a shelf after they open their doors. Your business plan should serve as a continued reference for your company. Realize the full potential of your initial investment in preparing your business plan by reviewing it regularly and using it as a reference for future business decisions.
Contact an Expert
Regardless of it you are a first time business owner, or a long-time professional, a second opinion and expert consultation are always useful in strategic business planning. Contact an unbiased source of knowledge when drafting or reviewing your company’s business plan. The planning professionals at Geddes & Company, P.C. have decades of experience helping businesses such as your own plan effectively for the future. Reach out to us today by phone or online to find out how Geddes & Company, P.C. can help you business build a plan for tomorrow.