Writing A Business Plan for An Existing Company

Writing A Business Plan for An Existing Company

You may be reading the title of this blog post and thinking “My business already exists, why should I bother writing a plan for it now?” But it’s never too late to write a business plan, and the benefits you can get from this process aren’t just for start-ups. If you want to be in business for many years to come – and who doesn’t? – then it’s always a good time to plan for the future.

 

Why Might an Established Company Need a Business Plan?

Maybe you have recently acquired a company which doesn’t have a business plan, or maybe you have been running your business for a while without one and think it could be helpful. Or maybe you had a business plan when you first set up your business, but a lot has changed since you first put pen to paper and you’re now moving in a different direction and need to readjust your road map, or adapt your business to succeed within a more challenging environment. You might also have a new product or service in the pipeline which you need to plan out or that requires funding from an investor.

 

In some ways, writing a plan for an existing business is easier than writing one for a start-up. As an established company, you know your customers and your market inside out, and you have years of experience to draw on when projecting figures or planning new products and marketing tactics. However, that doesn’t mean you can be complacent. Business plans aren’t new years’ resolutions that you make on 1st January and then promptly forget about by February. Your plan needs to be revisited to make sure you’re on the right track, to find out where you can improve, and to make any adjustments to keep you on course. That’s why even if you have never had a business plan before, you can benefit from writing one now.

 

What is Included in This Type of Business Plan?

Business plans for established companies will differ to those created for start-ups. Exactly what should be included will depend on whether your plan is for internal use or to be presented to investors. Generally, a business plan will include an executive summary; a description of the company (this section may be omitted if it is not necessary in the context of an internal business plan); a summary of goals or a mission statement; a marketing plan; and financial information.

 

Where a plan for an existing business will differ is that there will be a little less estimating and a lot more reflection and analysis. You can consider the strengths and weaknesses of your business, taking any difficulties you have already had into consideration, and compare them to those of your competitors. You can also talk about what has already happened to your business, which gives you a more solid foundation on which to base your financial projections and new product ideas. If hindsight is 20/20, it can come in handy when planning for the future.

 

What are the Benefits of a Business Plan for Established Companies?

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business for years, a business plan can give you some direction, reinforce your goals, and boost your momentum. If you feel like you’re trundling on without stopping to reflect or looking up to see if you’re going the right way, a business plan can help you to take another look at your goals, see where you are in relation to them, and steer your course to ensure you meet them. If you’re not quite where you want to be, it’s better to realise and make changes to your service, gather new product ideas, take a look at your finances, or hire new team members early on, before it’s too far down the line to fix any problems. Conversely, if things are going great, you’ll want to know what the magic formula is so you can keep doing what you’re doing and make your business an even bigger success!

So, no matter at what stage your business is at, CBM’s years of experience writing and advising on business plans will keep your business heading in right direction, or give you the boost to secure funding for the next stage of your project.

You may be reading the title of this blog post and thinking “My business already exists, why should I bother writing a plan for it now?” But it’s never too late to write a business plan, and the benefits you can get from this process aren’t just for start-ups. If you want to be in business for many years to come – and who doesn’t? – then it’s always a good time to plan for the future.

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