A business plan is often prepared when someone is looking at starting a new business or acquiring an existing business. Unfortunately, once small business owners get their hands dirty in the running of the business they can lose focus and forget about the business plan. A business plan should be set up for the long term with short term goals set up as part of the plan. Ultimately, your aim is to achieve the long term goals. Short term goals should act as the the building blocks in order to reach the long term goal.
The business plan can, and should, cover all aspects of the business, from financials, to marketing, expansion or diversification opportunities, ethical standards and in more recent times, many business owners are including environmental impact statements as part of their business plan. A business plan should be a fluid document that is regularly referred to and updated.
A business plan can also be a great tool to show to your employees, allowing you to demonstrate that the business has a future and allow them to focus on the areas of the business plan that pertain to their role within the business. It's always good to run your business plan by your small business bookkeeper so that you can work together to achieve your business and personal goals.