Top 5 reasons to treat your business plan like a blueprint

A person utilizing a pen and contractor license to draw on a piece of paper.

A business plan(BP) is arguably the most important part of any company’s success, yet so many contractors treat theirs as though it was leveling out a wobbly desk. Without a solid, clear, actionable business plan, a company has little idea where to start building its future let alone how to take further steps once it begins. However, when a business plan is given as much care and thought as a blueprint, the company has a clear course of action to follow. With that in mind, here are the top five reasons to treat your business plan like a blueprint.

1.Essential requirements– A blueprint often has a list of needed materials or a BOM. This index delineates exactly what components are necessary to build the project. A business plan also has a BOM, however instead of metals, woods, and fasteners, the BP’s BOM includes resources such as employees, equipment, office supplies, advertising, and other pieces and parts needed to run a business. A company that simply collects these assets without a plan will find itself missing something essential at the wrong time which could negatively impact the business in a ruinous way.

2. Size– The size of a business is fluid and, hopefully, ever increasing. However, much like a house that may be expanded later on, a business must make preparations early on for later expansion. Far too companies have missed out on extremely lucrative opportunities because they were not prepared to expand or contract to meet market needs in a timely manner. For a contractor, this could mean something as simple as having one or two extra office staff or access to a temporary labor pool. It also might be as complex as keeping a soon to be essential piece of equipment on standby. These expectations are also part of most blueprints and BPs.

3.Tolerances– A blueprint tells the contractor what the foundation can withstand or how much certain materials can twist or bend so that the contractor can be prepared to make changes and allowances without having the entire project come crashing down. A BP, when give proper maintenance, will give a business the same information; warning the owner where business tolerances can be pushed or need to be adhered to explicitly.

4.Necessary Instructions– It is easy to get lost as a project moves forward or as a business grows. Just as a blueprint keeps a contractor on track with a project, a properly written business plan should contain a list of instructions of how the company should be run. This may seem obvious to the owner, however supervisors, managers, and even entry level employees all have their own perception of business management and can affect the day to day operations in large and small ways. Having a detailed and comprehensive BP will make sure that everyone is on the same page and no one but the owner can change where the company goes.

5.Notes– As time moves on, both projects and businesses evolve. There are stumbling blocks and breakthroughs all of which need to be documented. This is necessary for blueprints as well as business plans. By keeping extensive and exhaustive notes, a company can prevent previously encountered mistakes or discover trends that may lead to expansion opportunities. Few people can keep all of the company’s decision history in their head and others may need to have a reference for on-the-spot decisions. Notes are vital for keeping a company and project up to date and on-track.

Business plans are the blueprints of a company and without them, most businesses falter and crumble before they really get off the ground. Like a blueprint during a project, a business plan must be well designed, easy to read, and adaptable, but, most importantly, it should be treated with just as much importance.

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