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Existing Companies Need Planning, Too

Business plans aren't just for startups. Get on the fast track to growth with an annual strategic plan.
February 13, 2006
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/83502

Does your company develop an annual plan to polish its strategy, focus on main priorities and manage its cash?

Every business needs a plan. Unfortunately, there's a myth that only startups need planning. That's particularly common in the United States. Because of that myth, a lot of businesses miss out on the opportunity to manage themselves a bit better.

As an owner or manager of a small or medium business, can you afford not to plan? Do you leave the annual planning to the large businesses, and let your business depend on reacting to events? Or do you want to plan for priorities and manage your growth proactively? That's a leading question, of course; the answer is obvious.

You could call it a strategic plan, annual plan or operational plan--the name doesn't matter as much as the management of it. While these kinds of plans are common in larger enterprises, they're surprisingly rare in small and medium businesses.

The Benefits of an Annual Plan
There are many benefits of having a business plan in place for an existing company. With a business plan you can:

The Main Elements of Your Plan
Regardless of the name you use--strategic plan, annual plan or operational plan--the vast majority of these plans include some or all of the following main points:

Don't be fooled by the myth that only startups need a business plan. Whether you plan on growing your business--or even just maintaining its current level of success--a smart business plan will help guide you on your path.