LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS
3 things a business plan can do for you
Lauren duren, senior accountant
Business plans aren’t just for big companies. Your small business needs one, too – perhaps even more than large enterprises. Even if you’re an entrepreneur working in a spare room in your home, having a written framework for your strategy and long-term goals can help you make smarter, more targeted business decisions in the short run.
Your business plan can be one page, or you can do it by the book, filling it with voluminous text, financial statements and organizational charts (you will need the latter if you’re approaching banks and investors for financing).
You don’t have to be a brand-new venture to benefit from a business plan. Existing companies will find that this critical document can be useful in numerous ways. You will be able to:
Know when to grow.
Growth costs money. As your company continues to expand and prosper, you’ll need to make decisions about property and people. When is it time to: Take on a new employee? Buy an expensive piece of equipment? Move to a larger office space? Perhaps acquire another business? If you’ve built a detailed, realistic business plan, you’ll be better equipped to decide on expansion based on your short- and long-term goals and projections.
Paint a detailed picture of your company that can be shared.
Think about the individuals and companies in your orbit. Who could benefit from knowing, for example:
- What problem(s) are your products and/or services are trying to solve?
- How do you plan to create those?
- Who are your target markets – and who is your competition?
- Who is your managerial team?
- What are your projected milestones?
Provide a written roadmap for other employees (and for yourself).
If you’re building a complex business plan with a lot of sensitive and financial data, you may want to have two versions. One would be comprehensive, available only to staff in managerial positions. Those individuals would see your entrepreneurial vision spelled out in terms they could apply to their own work, the decisions they make every day, and the way they prioritize their schedules. This also makes them feel part of the “bigger picture.”
Noted business plan expert Tim Berry talks about the theory of displacement: Whatever you do is something else you don’t do. An effective business plan will help you schedule your weeks and months more strategically so your time is spent on activities that support your mission and goals (as much as possible).
We could get involved here in a number of ways and help you shape your business plan based on why you need it. For example, are you planning to sell your company, or do you need a business valuation for another purpose? Are you looking for funding? Or, do you just need help creating a document for your own purposes? Whatever the reason, we are ready to help. Contact us, and we’ll set up a consultation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
LAUREN DUREN + SENIOR ACCOUNTANT
Lauren Duren is a Senior Accountant at Lutz with over three years of relevant experience. She provides outsourced accounting services to clients with a focus on tax, payroll compliance, and healthcare consulting.
AREAS OF FOCUS
- Outsourced Accounting
- Payroll Compliance
- Healthcare Accounting Consulting
- Nonprofit Industry
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Member
- Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants, Member
- Certified Public Accountant
- MBA, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE
- BSBA in Accounting, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE
- Lutz Gives Back, Volunteer
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