Is it Time to Revisit Your Business Plan?
Your business plan needs to be updated, or worse, you don’t even have one. You figure you will just sweep it under the rug and pass the problem along to the new owner of your business.
Not so fast! The business plan is one of the first things prospective owners will want to see. Keep in mind that as soon as you create a business plan, it’s out of date. So no matter how recently you updated your business plan, it could use another look.
Why You Need a Business Plan
Most businesses don’t even have a business plan to begin with. This is a problem for several reasons. When created and maintained correctly, a business plan can aid in evaluating growth potential, attracting funding, building partnerships, and guiding development.
A business plan is a living document that profiles your business mission, goals, and processes. Identifying what these are is crucial to your business health and keeping them recorded will help keep things organized and make sure all employees are on the same track.
In order to keep your business plan current, put the following steps into action.
Steps for Maintaining an Effective Business Plan
- Rethink Your Planning Strategy: Business owners tend to think of planning as an annual event when in reality, it’s an ongoing process. If you are running your business well, you are constantly thinking of ways to improve daily operations. It is an excellent business practice to make all updates on your business plan as soon as they become final. Think of your business plan as a living document, not something set in stone. While constantly making changes to the business plan may seem like utter chaos, it helps prevent confusion. It is one of the best things business owners can do to maintain order.
- Ask for Your Customers’ Input: Asking customers for their input is a great strategy for creating the best business plan that works for your company’s unique needs. What type of improvements would make your product or service more convenient and appealing to your customers? How satisfied are they with your services? Making your customers happy is a no-brainer for increasing revenue, brand loyalty, and ultimately the value of your business.
- Ask for Your Employees’ Input: Your employees are the ones who put policies into action. They interact with customers on a regular basis and are an invaluable resource for knowing whether your strategies are working well. Asking employees for their honest feedback regarding the efficacy of your business strategies is a great way to monitor how well your ideas are working.
Creating and maintaining a business plan is essential to marketing your business. Our world moves at a lightning-fast pace, and the days of 5-year, 10-year, and even annual business plans have come and gone.