Business Plans Have Many Uses
There are many uses for business plans. Successful companies and their leaders have come to depend on well-written, periodically updated business plans from the early days of the business, through the growth years, and then again, when the time comes to sell the business to a new owner. Here are just some of the most important uses of a well-developed business plan.
Communicate to Your Employees - Share your business plan with your employees so that they see the business the same way that you do. Let them know what your vision is – what the company will look like in 3, 5, or 10 years. Use the business plan to explain the company’s mission – what your company will do for its customers. Communicate what your company’s goals are and the strategies that you will use to accomplish those goals, as well as by what dates you intend to accomplish them. By the way, if you don’t have a plan yet but want to create one, let your employees help. That way, everyone at the firm will be moving in the same direction.
Recruiting - These days, highly qualified people are in great demand. While you may be interviewing five excellent candidates for the same position, do not forget that each of those five candidates is probably interviewing with companies besides yours. How do you stand apart from the others? Easy, have a great business plan that will show candidates that you know where you are going and how you are going to get there.
Road Map - Let’s face it, business is tough. Competing in any market space is a challenge. But a well-developed business plan might just make becoming successful a bit easier. Have you heard the expression, “if you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there?” Create your business plan and use it as a road map. We promise you will get where you are going faster and with less wear and tear.
Landlord Approval - One of the largest shopping center and mall owners in Southern California will not consider leasing a retail space to a potential tenant without seeing a business plan. We understand. Unless you are a regional or national chain, a landlord with whom you intend to enter a long-term lease will want to know how you are going to be successful, and if you are going to contribute to the success of the property.
Franchise Approval - Our firm has written numerous business plans for Subway franchisees because Subway requires all new franchisees to submit a written plan. And not any business plan will do. They have a very specific outline for franchisees to follow. Other franchisors require a business plan as well so that they can understand how the proposed franchisee intends to operate his/her business. Virtually every applicant to become an “Area Developer” or “Master Franchisee” requires a business plan.
Entrepreneur Visa for Immigration - What do the U.S., U.K., Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, and other countries have in common? They all require business plans to be submitted for approval of entrepreneur visas for immigration. In the U.S., “E” visas and “L” visas are good examples.
Raising Capital - Commercial bankers often require business plans and other supporting documents to accompany business loan applications. Most investors will require a business plan before considering making an investment in a company.
Strategic Transactions - Counterparties to a strategic transaction such as a partnership, acquisition, sale, or merger will usually ask for a business plan to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a proposed transaction.