I encourage all of my clients to draft a business plan on two occasions: 1) when first starting a business and 2) when expanding or after three years in business. In fact, I typically won't meet with new business owners that don't have a plan in place. Why?
A plan doesn't have to be a formal, mumbo-jumbo type documents with references to executive summaries and other corporate terms. A plan should be useful for the business owner and act as a roadmap and target. After all, if you don't know where you're going, how can you possibly get there?
A plan will help to refine business goals and establish financial viability. Yes, many of the numbers you will initially plug-in are total guesses, but you have to start somewhere. When you re-visit and re-draft your plan after three years, you'll have real data to relay on that will help you expand your business.
Many owners struggle with what information or data to include. A resource I recommend to all of my clients and that I personally use is Live Plan.
I personally love Live Plan because it lays out all of the necessary categories and financials in an easy to follow way. I never have to guess at what numbers to include and there's even a section that helps me develop my marketing plan.
If you're starting a business or expanding your business, it's time to consider a well thought out plan.
*any links to Live Plan are my affiliate links. I've used this software myself for several businesses after a client told me about it years ago. I may receive a commission if you sign up using my link.
Sarah E. Holmes is a Philadelphia business attorney and strategist that helps start ups and established businesses looking to expand, protect their assets and increase their profits in an approachable, down-to-earth way.