A well-researched, crafted and implemented business plan can be an important element in your shop’s growth. Regularly reviewing and updating the plan can ensure your company stays on the right track, no matter what outside pressures it faces.
You probably wouldn’t take a long road trip without consulting a map, so it makes sense to apply that same principle to running your shop. Like a map, a business plan helps you chart the course for your shop, identifying the different changes you want to make and any challenges you foresee along the way.
Here, a panel of manufacturers and business experts answer 11 questions about crafting and updating a business plan.
What is a business plan?
“A business plan is a worthwhile process, it’s not a product, it’s not an endpoint, it’s a process, so it’s never complete because issues are always changing around them,” said Phillip S. Bessler, associate professor, business clinic director and SIFE Sam Walton Fellow at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio. “Markets are changing, competition is changing, and potential customers are changing.
“It’s a statement at a point in time and it must be maintained,” he said. “A new venture needs a business plan to think through all the issues before they actually execute in order to minimize errors or catastrophic failure. An existing business needs to at least annually revisit their business plan to look at, particularly, the external issues that affect their business, the industry, the competition, and edit critical sections of that market analysis and marketing and sales plans.”