Chapter 11. Planning for an Established Business
In This Chapter
Propelling your company forward
Planning for sales or mergers
Retooling your plan in times of trouble
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 all the answers to the questions at your fingertips when bankers, investors or others ask you for 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, this chapter can help ...