An attractive and effective business plan should be watertight from all angles. We’ll have been over it ourselves with a fine tooth comb. We’ll have had our associates, whether personal or professional, do the same. We’ll have looked at it from every angle and know all its strengths and potential weaknesses. But regardless of the amount of time we’ve spent perfected it, we should never assume that our business plan is finished. On the contrary, our business plan should be as living, organic, and changeable as our business itself. In order to continue to monitor the growth and progress of our business, our business plan must adapt accordingly. We must make regularly changes and adaptations to ensure we’re still on track with our goals and profit projections. You should always have one eye on your business plan and how effectively it reflects your business. But there will be specific times when it is especially crucial to rethink. Read on to discover the times when you will need to reassess your business plan.
1: When Things Aren’t Going Well
The success of our business is likely to fluctuate at different times, especially when we are first getting it off the ground. But if the situation seems to have been negative for some time or has become negative abruptly, we need to take action. Perhaps some new information has come to light or there is a competitor in town. Maybe there is a circumstance we didn’t foresee or we delivered a bad batch of product. Whatever the setback, what is more important is the way we react to it. Anyone can experience a bad patch or even an unmitigated disaster. What separates the normal from the extraordinary is the ways in which we’re able to react and bounce back. Start first with your business plan. If something happened that might happen again, incorporate a strategy for coping with it. If it was a one off but severely affected your profits or other finances, ensure your plan allows for this. Perhaps growth will have to be a little slower or profit margins thinner for a time. But we will at least be able to project when we can be back on our feet. This kind of approach helps ensure that we stay motivated and keep things in perspective. If there is no end in sight for a bad period, it can be hard to keep momentum on a project and we’ll feel like giving up. A business plan can help tether us to reality and the positives when things fall apart around us. We’ll be able to see on paper when things will improve.
2: When You Need Investment
We will need to tailor our business plan slightly for every potential investor. This might be for persuading an associate to come on board or getting your first small business loan. Don’t feel like the business plan has to be rewritten every time. That would be both unnecessary and foolish. This is about subtle tweaks in delivery, not an all-out change. For securing investment from a bank, emphasize the business’ reliability and certainty of a return, for example. For a new investor, perhaps talk more about the exciting potential for growth or the novelty of the idea. Know your business plan inside out and you will be able to judge exactly what to highlight in every meeting.
3: When Moving Into Another Market
Many businesses now expand abroad in a relatively short space of time. This should only be undertaken if you have given your business plan the attention it deserves. Some professional advice from within the new market would not go amiss. Your business plan should reflect the new challenges and exactly how you’ll deal with them.