Are Business Plans Necessary for Stable Businesses?

Start-up companies require a business plan that outlines the details that the company needs to survive and thrive.  Lenders appreciate them because it strengthens your chances of obtaining a loan.  Owners of thriving companies tend to forgo the business plan because the business is succeeding.  However, business plans extend beyond one successful outing.  Companies fluctuate, and owners need to adapt to change.  The question we will explore is: “are business plans necessary for stable businesses?”

According to Palo Alto Software CEO Sabrina Parsons, she believes that making business plans only for start-ups is a myth.  “To maintain healthy and successful companies, we need to let go of the belief,” she continues.  Most start-ups collapse after a few years.  Just because you’re stable now doesn’t mean it won’t change down the line.  Successful people remain successful because they work hard to keep it.  A business plan isn’t about obtaining a loan. A business plan is to forecast upcoming challenges and changes with the best strategies available.  Business plans are for a business’s lifetime. Fingers crossed your business stands the test of time.

As you’re exploring a long-term, quality business plan, answer these questions:

  • What makes your business plan stand out from the competition? A way to answer this question is to create fail-proof scenarios in case something goes wrong.
  • Did you add a human element to the plan? Creating business plans based on computer-generated ideas don’t calculate real issues.  Something can occur that the computer didn’t anticipate.
  • Are the financial projections realistic? Realistic projections provide hard evidence about where your company is going.
  • How will you approach future predictions? There are two kinds of business plans: pinpointing the future accurately or allowing unforeseen circumstances to arrive, then adjusting.  Using both versions is the best route to take which is to write about the future and change the plan when the unexpected arrives.

Business growth planning is for companies at all stages.  Just because you beat the odds once, doesn’t mean you will continue to beat them.  Longevity requires adapting to change, taking risks, and being innovative long-term. Therefore, yes, business plans are necessary for stable businesses.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

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