Keys to Building a Scalable Business Plan

Plan for a big future.
Plan for a big future. (Image: Writing of business plan image by Vasyl Dudenko from

To be an attractive investment, a business must be capable of growing into a larger enterprise than the original entrepreneur could do on her own. Planning a business to be scalable, that is, to require multiple employees or locations and capture an ever-larger market share, requires thinking big. Choose the business, or business model, that allows for the maximum potential growth of the company.

Market Opportunity

The most critical component of a scalable business is its customers. The more potential customers, the more they spend on average, and the faster that customer demographic is growing, the better. Businesses only succeed when they can solve a specific problem for a specific customer, so getting to know that customer and their needs is the most crucial aspect of business planning. This section of a business plan should detail the customer demographics including location, age or size (depending on whether the customer is a consumer or a business), income and spending habits. Demonstrate that there will be more customers in the future than there are today.

Business Environment

The business plan must describe the industry in which the company will operate. For the company to be scalable, there must be a market niche that is not being filled by competitors, and into which the existing competitors can't easily grow or shift. This is especially difficult to demonstrate in industries with a great many competitors of equal size, or those dominated by one or two monopolies.

Flexible Operations

Once the business plan has established that there is a large potential market that is not already being served by competitors, the company has to prove that it is capable of growing into a major player. The business owners should demonstrate that they have skills that allow them to grow or manage a large organization, and that the company's operational plans are designed to accommodate growth. For example, early decisions about banking or manufacturing facilities have been made with the company's future size in mind, and the bank is capable of scaling with the company, or the initial facilities are on a short-term lease or are part of a much larger facility that can be progressively taken over.

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