There are many definitions of a business plan. Business plans are of course needed to start new businesses; business plans are needed by existing businesses to fund specific projects or to get money from a lender. Often a plan will be required by the Directors or owners when a business looks at a new venture or a new market.
Another definition that we like is that a business plan is a document that helps a business to look ahead, allocate resources, focus on key points, and prepare for problems and opportunities. The plan can be used to assign tasks to named employees as part of an annual review / appraisal process and ultimately help management to monitor organisational progress.
In the past it was not generally necessary for general practices to have a business plan, because the environment was relatively stable. But today things are less predictable, and planning for the future becomes almost essential.
To help practices decide whether and how to develop a business plan, we have developed a business planning toolkit. Subscribers can access the Business Planning Toolkit in the toolkits section of the website. If you are not a member, have a look at the information about the benefits of membership and how to subscribe.