Contact Us Today! (972) 712-1515

"The Blog"

The Business Plan

Posted by Darryl V. Pratt | Oct 30, 2018 | 0 Comments

Operating your business without a business plan is like going to the grocery store hungry and without a list. You end up with a lot more than you need—a lot more than you even want—in your cart. And you've likely upset your budget for the week. A few such carefree adventures and your budget is out of balance for the month or even the year.

To help keep your business on track, you need a business plan. A business plan is an annual strategy exercise, detailing the business's financial and funding information, its products or services, competitive research and analysis, marketing plans, sales plans and projections, and information about the key people and their roles. No matter the size or legal structure of your business, the discipline of writing and maintaining a business plan brings structure and organization to the business and validation and motivation to the owners. This can be an especially important exercise for the entrepreneurial spirit. But this tool can only work for your business if you dedicate the time to write a business plan and calendar it as an item for annual review and updates.

Structure and Organization

The mere exercise of writing out the details of your business and seeing them in print can reveal unnecessary duplication in some areas and gaps in others. With this information, you can reallocate resources as needed. Proactively addressing these structural issues before they manifest as problems keeps your business running smoothly and efficiently. Additionally, businesses need cash to survive. Planning and forecasting each year is critical to understanding how sales and expenses affect cash flow. Finally, a business plan can keep you on track with long-term goals when tempting and unanticipated opportunities arise. 

Validation and Motivation

Over time, comparing your business-plan forecasts with your results will provide the data you need to validate business decisions—including the updates to the business plan itself. Whether the business is meeting its targets or falling short, having your “hands in the data” on a regular basis means you can spot trends and take action. For example, consistently hitting sales targets may mean it's time to evaluate an expansion campaign or to re-evaluate and trim the marketing budget. Consistently falling short of sales targets may mean the goals are too ambitious or perhaps the sales team needs an additional resource. Working with fresh data provides you with the opportunity to take timely corrective measures. If the data reveals an issue, it's much less overwhelming to correct a slight deviation in course than to be forced to re-chart the entire course. On the other hand, when the data reveals growth, striking while the iron is hot to capitalize on that growth fuels the business with positive momentum.

Next Steps

Your business plan needs to cover a wide breadth of topics in thorough detail. The Small Business Administration provides an excellent starting point for collecting the necessary information and beginning the writing (or updating) process:

When you begin to write or update a business plan, consider your audience. If the business plan will be an internal document, you may be able to handle the process yourself. Consider consulting with your business planning attorney and your tax professional to gather and discuss some of the necessary information. If the upcoming business needs include financing, additional investors or owners, or anything else that may include an external review of the business plan, the business plan must be extremely well prepared, with information relevant to the decision process. In this case, you may want to consider hiring a professional business plan writer to take your draft to the next level.

Companies that have written business plans tend to perform better. Writing and maintaining a business plan can be challenging work, but the benefits greatly exceed time and effort. While some business owners are comfortable writing their own business plans, many business owners discover significant benefits after working with a business planning professional. We provide business planning services for the complete business lifecycle, including shaping initial ideas, deciding upon and implementing the right legal structure, crafting a comprehensive business plan, and more. Give us a call today so we can discuss the next steps to getting your business plan underway.

Call the Business Law attorneys at Pratt Law Group at (972) 712-1515 to schedule a consultation today to learn how we can help you manage risk. 

About the Author

Darryl V. Pratt

With almost twenty-five (25) of experience as a dual-licensed Attorney and Certified Public Accountant, Darryl V. Pratt has practiced law in all areas of corporate and business law, non-profit law, estate planning, probate, guardianship, asset protection planning, bankruptcy (Chapters 7, 13 and 11), real estate, and taxation.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

DISCLAIMER Pratt Law Group, PLLC (PLG) has prepared the material on this web site, for informational purposes only; it does not constitute legal advice. Further, the material on this site does not create, and receipt does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. The information here is not intended to substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. No person should act or rely on any information in this site without seeking the advice of an attorney. Members of the law firm of PLG are licensed to practice in various courts and jurisdictions; attorneys are specifically licensed to practice in state courts that are enumerated on their individual attorney profiles. We also have affiliations in particular cases with attorneys licensed in additional states. PLG does not offer any guarantee of case results. Although we are extremely proud of our excellent track record, past success does not guarantee success in any new or future case or client matter. This web site is considered advertising by the State Bar of Texas under the applicable law and ethical rules. The determination of the need for legal services and the choice of a lawyer are extremely important decisions and should not be based solely upon advertisements or self-proclaimed expertise. Only those attorneys who state they are Board Certified in their profiles on this website are Board Certified. All other attorneys are not Board Certified. Darryl V. Pratt is the attorney responsible for this site. The principal office of PLG is 2591 Dallas Parkway, Suite 505, Frisco, Texas 75034. Please note that the transmission of an e-mail inquiry itself does not create an attorney-client relationship. PLG cannot serve as your counsel in any matter unless you and our firm expressly agree in writing that we serve as your attorney. You should also be aware that the Statute of Limitations (the deadline imposed by law within which you may bring a lawsuit) may have expired or may severely limit the time remaining for you to file any potential claims you may have. Time is of the essence. If you believe you have a possible legal case, it is important that you seek out legal advice as soon as possible.