A small business plan is a dynamic management tool that should be updated as your company grows and evolves. It will play a key role in generating maximum revenue for your business by identifying potential challenges and determining successful strategies. In order to benefit from your small business plan you must keep it up to date by making periodical revisions, updates and changes.View a Free Business Plan Sample here.
Why Should You Update Your Small Business Plan?
When you started your business, you created plan to find investors, receive financing or simply outline the key factors that would determine its success, however regardless of its initial purpose, your plan serves as a baseline against which you will measure your business’ performance. Read Starting a Small Business? You Need A Small Business Plan!
How Often Should You Update Your Small Business Plan?
Many start-up business owners may wonder “how often should I update my business plan?” The answer is, frequently. An plan can help redefine goals, evaluate performance and compare actual results with initial expectations. The frequency with which you update your plan will depend on your business’ need. Some businesses will update semi-annually others quarterly, the important thing is to understand that updating your plan will allow you to review your company’s performance and compare it to your initial expectations.
Although as a business owner you probably think about aspects such as marketing, sales and operations on a daily basis, comparing these to your initial plan will allow you to view them as a whole and determine if the strategies implemented up to date are successful or if they require improvements and changes.
Your should include expenses, sales growth and revenue forecasts. Take the time to review if you are meeting these expectations, if you are, determine the strategies that led to this success and how they can be improved for the future. If you did not reach your expectations, it is time to reevaluate your strategies and determine a corrective course of action. By having an advanced warning you can look for ways to cut expenses, improve marketing strategies, sale techniques and explore other ways to better your position. Click here to read about a basic business plan layout.
Only by keeping your plan up to date you will be able to measure your company’s performance, taking advantage of its many benefits and using it as a guide to successfully grow.