Microsoft word - article 1_0208.doc
Cheyenne Business Monthly - Feb 2008
By: Charlene Boner, 307.214.2043
Plan for Success:
Why a Business Plan is Key to Continued Success
Welcome to the beginning of 2008! With the new year you have either recently completed yourstrategic and tactical planning projections for the coming year(s), or you are now finalizing thatprocess. One of the key factors for continued success is also having a completed, documented,working business plan in place, which links all aspects of your business together. Throughout 2008I will be sharing with you what value a business plan will bring to you and your business, regardlessof whether you are an existing, or start-up, business. This first article is a summary view and I willgo into greater detail in future articles as 2008 progresses.
Understanding the value of a documented “working” business plan, tailored to your business, isparamount to continued success. Whether you are a new or established business, this planincorporates all aspects of the business planning process. It is a major tool in creating the “flow” ofinformation and processes that allow you to meet the needs of your customers. Every businessactually has a business plan but in many cases it is “housed” in someone’s head and notdocumented. Writing the business plan and using it as a working document is vital to setting yourstrategic direction and putting tactical plans in place to achieve desired results. It also allows forstable and steady communication across your organization and assists in aligning personnel withyour business direction.
When writing your business plan and looking at what information to include, most business planmodels are similar across the spectrum of business plan writing. This means that the requestedinformation relating to the different sections of the business plan are similar but may differ inpresentation and/or layout. A business plan includes, but is not limited to, the following sections:Values, Vision, Mission; Business Structure; Marketing; Operations; Management; Finance; andExit Strategy.
It takes time to write a business plan because of the research, sorting and organizing of requiredinformation, and compiling it into a complete, understandable, flowing picture of your business. Asbusiness dynamics change in our economy, it is important to have your business plan “in motion” toaccommodate these changes. The business plan is to be used as a working document and reviewedfrequently throughout the year to better address opportunities and challenges that arise in yourchosen industry.
There are many challenges associated with choosing to write your own business plan including:
• lack of time• feeling overwhelmed with the amount of information to review, organize, and compile.
If you choose to write your own business plan, there is free assistance available from organizationsand associations to guide you through the process, but you are charged with the actual writing. Ifyou choose to outsource the writing of your business plan, there are local and internet companiesavailable, for a fee. Regardless of the decision you make, “Plan for Success” now by having acompleted working business plan as a key factor for your continued success.
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