You may be aware of the importance of a having a well-written business plan – both for securing funding and giving yourself a robust roadmap to work from. But how far ahead do you need to think when planning your business and writing your business plan? Is there such thing as planning too far in advance? The answer may vary depending on the industry you are in, but planning years in advance could be very beneficial for your business.
Show Your Commitment
One reason to make sure you plan well ahead is that investors will want to know that you are thinking long-term. If you’re not planning on sticking around for enough time for them to get their money back or make a return, they won’t look favourably upon your business plan. Show that you are committed by stating where you would like to be further down the line. You might even want to go as far as planning your exit strategy, which we talk about in more detail in our blog post “Do You Need To Include An Exit Strategy In Your Business Plan?”
Plan To Make Changes
Don’t worry about planning so far ahead that your plan becomes obsolete. Even if you only plan three months ahead, anything could happen to force your plan to change dramatically. Whether you plan for just a few months or several years, your business plan is a living document that can always be amended or added to. If you have a clear vision of where you want to be in a couple of years’ time or even longer, don’t be afraid to say so. It’s important to have something to aim for.
Work With What You Know
If you’re not sure of where you might be in more than a year’s time, it may seem like planning that far ahead is simply guessing. But knowledge of your business and its past performance, as well as what’s going on within your industry, could help you to make some educated decisions – even if things don’t turn out exactly the way you expect. And there are always some things you can rely on to still be there in five or ten years’ time – such as bills and taxes.
Benefits Of Long-Term Planning
Long-term planning can, in fact, help you to see that you need to make a change and re-assess your business. For example, if your goals have stayed the same but your business is way off where you would like it to be, you can revisit your business plan and steer your business back in the right direction in good time. You can see how close (or how far) you are from reaching your goals and make decisions as appropriate. Having a long-term business plan can also help you and your staff to remember your goals and work towards them across every aspect of your business.
If you’re starting to think ahead and you need a little help getting it all down in a way that will benefit you and help you to secure funding, cbm would be happy to help. Get in touch online using the form on the right or call 01604 420 420.