A business plan can help an existing business grow. Your forestry consulting business has been in operation for a few years and now needs to expand to be competitive. Your etiquette school is considering adding more classes or more teachers and needs to borrow some cash. Your wedding business is so successful that you are considering franchising it. These are growth opportunities.
Expand Your Current Business
Once your business is up and running, you will be making decisions that impact the growth of your venture. Most of these decisions will be small and self-funded. You have sufficient profits and capital to add a new line. But what if you need more money than you have? You discover an opportunity to double your business by moving it into a new business complex. Then you probably need to write a new growth business plan, updating your existing plan and describing the opportunity and costs.
Build a Second Business
In growing marketplaces, you may discover an opportunity to set up a clone of your successful business. It may be in a similar business center in a nearby town or community. Or it may be a related business, operated independently by the same owners.
Your growth business plan will use the success of your first business to design the second one. If financing is required, the growth plan will show investors how you plan to profit — and pay back your loans. If you are hiring a manager for the second location, a business plan can help you attract and train qualified candidates.
Business plans don't expire, but they can become out of date. Decide right now to update your business plan at least once a year. You might discover a rare opportunity and have to act quickly. Someone may walk in and ask to buy your business for a good price — if you can document your success.
Build a Purchased Business
As your first business succeeds, you may see the opportunity to buy out one of your competitors. Or you may opt to venture into business by buying an existing business where a plan is already in operation. What you will write in each case is a growth plan. You will show yourself and others how you plan to expand and operate an existing business.
Sell Your Business
If you someday decide to sell your business, you don't really need a startup business plan, which is a goal document. You need a results document. Guess what?! An up-to-date business plan can serve as your offering memorandum, a document that tells prospective buyers about your business. By changing the perspective of the document and its readership, you will have a paper that will guide prospective buyers in understanding the value of your business.
Growth business plans are different from start-up plans because of perspective, but the components are essentially the same and both answer the same business questions. In addition, they have similar components.