BY JACK KWICIEN
and your colleagues. Never written a business
plan? Don’t worry. I’ll try to de-mystify business planning for you.
Why write it down? What is the rationale for having a business plan in the first place? Why should you have one at all — most businesses don’t, right? What components or elements should be in a business plan? What are the possible uses
for a business plan? And finally, who are the
potential audiences and stakeholders with an
interest in a business plan?
Consider a business plan a road map — a
guide for running your business. It should ar-
ticulate your business purpose and your mis-
sion. Who are your customers? What is your
value proposition? How will you grow your
business? How much realistically can it grow?
Will it still be profitable? And what resources
will you need to make it all happen? These are
some of the essential questions that need to be
answered in a thoughtful, cogent manner.
Perhaps you are asking yourself, why does
my business plan need to be written? After all,
you have it all in your head and you’ve gotten
this far, right? First of all, the discipline of
putting the plan in writing forces you to think
through all the issues involved in managing
your business and to succinctly articulate why
your business matters.
A business plan will also cause you to put
a stake in the ground about those important
and sometimes controversial issues like:
• foregoing profits to fund growth
• deciding what additional capabilities
and resources are needed
• specializing in one or two industries to
gain competitive advantage to the exclusion of
general market prospects
• deciding to build/buy/ or partner to add
a synergistic product line or service
Enhance your asset value
with a business plan
Well, football season is over, and we are now headlong into March Madness. It’s likely to be almost as frenetic as the ongoing
gyrations surrounding PPACA in the political
forum, the courts, and in the marketplace.
Clearly the benefits landscape will
remain in a constant state of flux for the next
several years. It’s likely to be as much of an
emotional roller-coaster as the basketball
tournament. I hope you’re up for the “big
dance” — those who are prepared will be
And that brings us to this month’s topic. I
want to talk about developing a business plan
for your firm and how that will help increase
your business asset value in the event of a
merger or sale. Even if you are not an equity
owner in the firm, you should want the organization to have a business plan.
You’d be surprised at how many benefits practices do not have a formal written
business plan. (Or maybe you wouldn’t.)
Does your organization have one? Why not?
Perhaps the process is a bit of a mystery to you