Improving your business plan
Attention to your business plan should not be restricted to the start-up of your business. Regularly revising your plan can help you to clarify the direction of the business and to create new objectives. A great way of improving your existing business plan is to utilise recently acquired employee’s expertise.
Take a look at your existing business plan and ask yourself whether these key elements are included and, if they are, do they require revision:
- The business description and mission statement– this should include nature of your businesses work, the customer base it is intended to serve, and above all, its ultimate goal. The principles of your company should be clear and concise.
- Management and people profiles– Readers of your plan won’t be interested in a faceless corporation. Make sure you up-date any achievements or qualifications gained by your management team. Your firm’s organisational structure may have changed and this should be included along with solid evidence of the results your employees can achieve.
- A financial portrait and strategy– projections of basic data such as a projected balance sheet, a profit and loss account and an analysis of cash flow may need to be exchanged for more recent data.
- Sales and marketing objectives– it is essential that this section of your plan is up-to-date as Expertise and past success will mean little without a current strategy for bringing your products or services to market
- An executive summary– this must include the highlights of the business plan as it is common for potential lenders to only read this section.
There are also certain aspects of your business plan you might want to cut out. For example, it is important that your plan is not over-optimistic. By researching the current market thoroughly you will be able to re-write your predicted sales realistically. Sometimes, there are risks involved if you fail to meet up to your claims.
Lastly, don’t ignore the competition. Rather, study them and anticipate their plans. In doing so, your newly up-dated plan will be one step ahead.