What's the best way to lay out a plan for long-term growth?
We are a 4 year-old fence installation company. A few years ago we had plans to expand our business by selling fence products, staining fences and penetrating the commercial market. This year we will be realizing these goals and are beginning to think about our next goals for the upcoming few years. We really want to take our business to the next level in the coming years.
That's called a business plan. I can't help but recommend my free online book Hurdle: the Book on Business Planning
, which is intended to take you step by step through the process. Also, Business Plan Pro
, Windows software, which also takes you step by step. Don't reinvent the wheel.
Neither of these is going to tell you what to do. They'll get you thinking along the right lines, ask you the right questions, and help you with the mechanics. Every business is different, but the process of writing a business plan is useful for any business.
Tim Berry is the chairman of Eugene, Ore.-Palo Alto Software
, which produces business-planning software,