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It's important that the franchisee has a business plan, but it's equally (or more) important that you do. Your business plan is a living document that provides direction for growth and a framework for operations. It should include the current year forecast, a 5-year forecast and a 10-year forecast.
Every month you reconcile actual versus forecast and thereby gauge performance. This way you know if there is a problem and you know in time to respond with a corrective action. If you operate your business – and your franchisees – without goals or measurements you're not going to be able to stay competitive. The market changes constantly. You must realize the changes as they occur and be in a position to capitalize on them.
If you decide to expand farther and need investors or if you take your company public you will have to have a current business plan. Don't let this slip – it's too critical a document.
Well said. It's not the plan that matters, it's the planning, and the planning is a process that starts with a plan and continues with tracking and following up and managing. Business plans are always wrong, but vital, nonetheless.