Aligning a business plan with life goals

Many people in Maryland dream of opening their own businesses, but some may not consider the futures of those businesses. Before a business plan can be put together, a potential business owner needs to determine what he or she wants out of life. For some, this could mean selling the business sometime down the road or passing it on to future generations.

The strategies employed by new business owners may differ widely depending on whether the intention is to let the business go or keep it in the family. Selling a business requires a five-year plan for quick growth, which often requires investors and aggressive marketing. The company would more than likely rely more on employees and less on family members for the operation of the business.

Creating a business that can be run by children and grandchildren requires slower, more deliberate growth over a longer period of time. A Maryland resident who is starting a family business may include a plan to employ children as soon as they can legally work so they can begin their training. As time goes by, they can take on more responsibilities until they reach the point where they can take over the business.

Most people are advised to create a business plan that extends approximately five years. However, looking even further into the future could greatly affect any decisions made within the first five years. Of course, businesses are restructured all the time, but, for a smaller business, a sudden change in direction could endanger future success.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Setting Up a Small Business That Works With Your Life Plan", Melinda Emerson, Feb. 22, 2015

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