Sounding Board

Write On!

It may scream out as a blatant business blunder to many, but some small-business owners still think storing their business plans in their heads is just fine, thank you. They know where they want the business to go--isn't that enough? We think not.

The most important reason for putting your business plan in writing is that it forces you to think through what you're doing and where you're going. But that's not the only argument in favor of a written plan. Dan Steffen, director of the Market Research Center at the Utah Technology Finance Corp. in Salt Lake City, says there are a number of other practical reasons for getting your plan on paper:

*It is necessary support for funding requests. If you apply for a loan or seek outside investors, you'll be required to show a business plan that demonstrates your ability to create a plan and implement it.

*It identifies your successes and failures. Having a written business plan that you can refer to both as a historical document and as a guide for the future lets you clearly see what worked and what didn't work so you know what to do next.

*It acts as a guide for buyers or heirs. If you decide to sell the business, or if you die or become disabled and someone else takes over, a written business plan will help make the transition a smooth one.

Contact Sources

Accord Human Resources Inc., (405) 232-9888, daleh@accordhr.com

Encore!!!, (904) 221-6525, snauck@aol.com

Etiquette International, (212) 628-7209, http://www.etiquetteintl.com

Newman, Goldfarb, Freyman & Klein P.C., (314) 727-0220, ngfsk@inlink.com

Out of the Box Concepts, (415) 922-5670,

Peggy Isaacson & Associates, (407) 290-1146, hrhelp@juno.com

Sprint, http://www.sprint.com

Technical Products Ltd., (703) 421-0762, fax: (703) 421-0763

Utah Technology Finance Corp., (801) 741-4240, http://www.ubrn.org

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