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Monday, April 6, 2009

A Business Plan for Growth in Sluggish Times

JoAnn Lombardi
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“I don’t want to put any money into my business until the economy improves.”  How many times have you heard a small business owner say something like that? It kind of gives me a chill every time I hear it. Imagine deciding not to spend any more money on transportation until traffic improves. 
Many business owners who bought their own businesses did it because they liked the idea of setting their own hours, being their own bosses, making a good income, and growing their businesses into something to be proud of. They all had plans, big plans.   
Then one day, some realized their businesses stopped growing. They had more equipment than they needed. The economy had slowed down. The bureaucratic red tape, laws, taxes, etc. made it harder to do business. So little by little they put their business plans on hold. In traffic terms, they decided to pull over to the side of the road.
This can stop a party who is looking to buy a business from you if you show that you have not continued to grow it. Especially, if you show that haven't followed a strong business plan whether you are looking to expand or sell your business.
It’s easier to grow a business if you have a well thought–out business plan. In any economy, booming or sluggish, it’s always easier to create a high quality business plan if you know where you’re going, even in the worst of times.
Even if you are selling a business to a potential party, you want to make sure that they see that you have had a plan in place. If they see that you have been standing still, it makes the business less exciting and appealing.
So what about right now? Business owners who spend money carelessly, make wrong decisions, and take unnecessary risks will continue to come and go, just as they always have, sometimes with – but most without -- fifteen minutes of fame. 
But it is the ethical, hard-working business owners who wake up each morning full of zest and vigor, looking for dynamic opportunities, resilient to adversity, thinking broadly about the types of products or services they could provide that will always find freedom, flexibility and a good income owning a business.
Whether you are looking to buy or sell a business, you want to have a well-developed plan in how you are going to be successful. You have to be able to keep your nose to the grindstone, and keep your business moving forward even in these trying economic times.


Response to: A Business Plan for Growth in Sluggish Times
Jay Sadler says
How can I obtain more information on buying a business? Some of the points that you brought up, weren't addressed from other brokers that spoke to me.

Response to: A Business Plan for Growth in Sluggish Times
Alex Bradley says
I have a plan in place that I have shown a party that is interested in buying my business, but he is still skeptical with the data that I presented. How can I alleviate his concerns?

Response to: A Business Plan for Growth in Sluggish Times
Laura Michaels says
Do you have any information as to what kind of financing options that I have when buying a business?

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