The classic uses are seeking investment or applying for a loan. There are also the obvious communication with employees, partners, family members, consultants. And there is valuation, sometimes for tax purposes, sometimes for growth, divorce, estates.

Too many people think of business plans as something you do to start a company, apply for a loan, or find investors. Yes, they are vital for those purposes, but there’s a lot more to it. Preparing a business plan is an organized, logical way to look at all of the important aspects of a business. First, decide what you will use the plan for, such as to:

  • Define and fix objectives, and programs to achieve those objectives.
  • Create regular business review and course correction.
  • Define a new business.
  • Support a loan application.
  • Define agreements between partners.
  • Set a value on a business for sale or legal purposes.
  • Evaluate a new product line, promotion, or expansion.
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