Running your company without a business plan is like taking a car trip without a road map. For those contractors who say they have been successful for years without a business plan, the fact is that times are changing and the 90s won't be so kind. Surety companies, insurance companies, lending institutions, and government regulatory agencies now often require documentation such as a business plan. A business plan is a management tool that tells you where you want to go and what you have to do to get there. It is a management communication vehicle because it allows key managers input in preparing it. And it is an image builder for your company, giving you credibility in the financial, business, and insurance community.

The business plan should not be a separate plan from the sales-marketing plan. Although the marketing plan should be a self-contained program complete with objectives, strategies, tactics, and a budget, it is only a sub-plan to the overall company business plan. Your business plan should be a working document that you refer to at least once a month, if not once a week. Although it may be helpful to hire an outside consultant to help in the planning process, the plan must contain your thoughts and ideas.