A business plan for existing company should include a financial plan and high-level strategy with clearly assigned priorities, specific responsibilities, deadlines and milestones.

Business Plan for an Existing Business

Business plans are not only meant for new businesses. Having a business plan for an existing business offers several benefits. It increases the confidence of investors in your business, attracts new partners or employees to your company and makes your business look more attractive to the prospective buyer if you are selling your business. Above all, a business plan guides you through growth and success at different stages of your business.

Preparing a business plan in black and white gives you an opportunity to give a careful thought to each step required to achieve your business goals. You can discover any existing weaknesses and likely challenges you may encounter down the line. It also helps you identify untapped opportunities and capitalize on them.

A typical business plan includes the following sections:

  • Summary
  • Description of the Company
  • Mission and Objectives
  • Products and Services Offered
  • Market Demand and Trends
  • Marketing and Sales Plan
  • Operational Plan
  • Management and Organization
  • Financial Statement
  • Financial Analysis
  • Financial Plan
  • Appendices

Sometimes, events like business acquisition, new product development or franchise purchase, may necessitate an existing business to create a business plan. Existing businesses generally use a business plan to outline their strategies, keep a tab on expenses, and benchmark the progress. Unlike in the case of a new business, creating a business plan for an existing business is simpler due to ready availability of operational information.

Benefits of Having a Business Plan for an Existing Business

Guide your growth: The success of a business depends upon a lot of factors, including persistent hard work, prevailing economic trends, market needs and location of your business. Having a business plan guides and influences your growth and helps you move towards defined business objectives in a proactive manner.

Manage your priorities: A business plan helps you focus on the order of your priorities and you can allocate resources where they are required the most. You can capitalize on your strength to perform those tasks first, which are most important in achieving your business objectives. In the meantime, you can simultaneously work towards tackling your weaknesses.

Assign responsibilities: Organizational responsibilities are developed and assigned on the basis of a business plan in order to achieve the set objectives.

Monitor business progress: A business plan sets the benchmark to measure progress towards achieving your goals. Without a plan, it becomes difficult to monitor whether you are managing the business in the right manner or whether the business is progressing in the right direction at a speed it ought to.

Plan for cash: Cash is the lifeline of any business. However, many businesses do not plan cash management well, although they are very particular about earning profits. Poor cash management can create bottlenecks in operations and damage your reputation among suppliers, vendors and creditors. A business plan includes a plan for efficient cash management, making way for smooth operations and functioning of the company.

How to Write a Business Plan for an Existing Business

  • Create a cover page with your business name, address, and contact information.
  • Write a general business description with company's mission.
  • Write a legal business description that includes the type of business entity (sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Company, corporation, etc.), number of years you've been in the business, sales, profit and finance history, etc.
  • Define the products and services of your business.
  • Analyze your industry, target market, demand and competition.
  • Prepare a marketing plan using your research and analysis.
  • Identify your main competitors along with their products, strengths and weaknesses vis-à-vis yours.
  • Define strategies for advertising and customer retention, along with associated costs and revenue generation.
  • Describe the operations of your business including its location and equipment details.
  • Identify the key personnel, and assign responsibilities and functions to them.
  • Provide financial information like accounting method (whether cash or accrual basis), credit terms, payment collection methods, etc.
  • Prepare financial statements like balance sheet, profit and loss statement and cash flow statement.
  • Summarize your business plan.
  • Generate a table of contents and appendices.

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