Okay, most of us already know what a business plan is and (hopefully) most of us set one up for our company – no matter the size – prior to starting.
A business plan can come with various attributes according to company size and purpose, but no matter what type of plan, the basics often remain the same. The business summary, the operations and management plan, the financial plan, the vision statement, the financial goals.
If there’s one thing I see far too often, it’s businesses that have written up their business plan and dusted their hands. Full steam ahead, right? Yes, but make sure it’s only to the next stop.
It’s almost common sense, but I’m always surprised to see just how many business heads don’t take the time to sit down with their team to thoroughly compare their business’ current state and projections to what was initially put on paper a while back. It’s often said, you’ll never know if you never go. So, go back.
- How are your financial projections working out? Are you on track in terms of revenue? Is the business keeping its output in line with that forecast? Look at any variances that may be causing your business to fall off the path you originally created. Don’t wait for tax time to roll around to receive that heart-stopping realization; be on the ball now. Statements, invoices, your accountant, line them all up with your business plan and adjust accordingly.
- Remember that schedule? Wasn’t your business supposed to be at point B by now? As your workload piles up and a routine of sorts begins to formulate, a timeline is often overlooked. A timeline should have been included in your business plan, and now is the time to ensure deadlines are being hit. If not – why? If so – why? Looking at the elements behind why your business is or isn’t meeting the schedule will save you headaches and will inform you as to what needs to be locked in next.
- Hey, who is that new neighbour? A business plan is made at one particular period of time, when your business had its spot on the block. The rise of competitors can push everything into a different perspective. Too often, businesses look at a new competitor with mild interest, failing to look at what they are bringing to the table and how their moves can affect the business plan. You had a sales target, you’re on your way to meeting it, and then OurSimilarBusinessWillTakeYourCustomers Inc. comes along and makes you realise why they chose such a strange company name. Adjust that plan accordingly.
The list of reasons to keep reviewing that business plan can go on and on. Reviewing it should never be a one or two-time thing. In fact, the more you go through that plan, breaking it down with a fine-tooth comb, the better it will be for your business, your employees, and your overall outlook.
Those looking for some tips on how to write up a business plan and what should be included in a business plan can visit Business.gov.au.
About the Author:
Colin Porter is the publisher of Dynamic Business and the founder and MD of credit reporting bureau,CreditorWatch. He has over 20 years experience as a business owner, specialising in general small/medium business issues, cashflow, credit management and online business. Follow CreditorWatch on Facebook, Twitterand LinkedIn.