Many company owners create a small business plan at the beginning of their entrepreneur journey as a means to prepare themselves and investors for their new venture. However, once the business is up and running, they never refer back to it. A small business plan is often referred to as a ‘living document’, as it should be an ongoing piece of work that is regularly updated. Below are four advantages to revisiting your business plan regularly:
Assess your competition
Your business plan is not just an opportunity to reflect on your own company, it is a chance to investigate what your competitors are doing. Study their businesses to see if they’re offering anything new, and if this could be a feature you need to incorporate. You could be missing out on profit due to a new development in your sector that you’ve overlooked, so it’s vital to continuously use your small business plan to develop your product and service offering.
Adjust your targets
When running your own company, you should always be working to fulfil the targets set out in your small business plan. After completing a goal, you may be tempted to cross it off your list and consider it as a completed job. However, this is the perfect time to consider forward planning, and adjusting your goals in line with the way your business is currently running. Analyse your sales data, and determine how achievable your goals were; as time goes on, you will find it easier to set more realistic targets for your business.
Redirect your business
Small businesses are constantly evolving and updating their processes, and many often undergo a complete change of direction. Whether a new development in the marketplace or customer demand has driven you to re-route your business, when you alter the focus of your company it’s important to reflect this in your business plan. It may be necessary to adapt your analysis methods to work around your new structure, allowing you to keep your company running as efficiently as possible.
Keep on the same page
If you are running your company alongside other people, updating your small business plan is a great opportunity to make sure that everyone is still on the same page. Running an entire organisation with limited staff numbers makes it necessary for people to work independently, meaning that differences of opinion can influence areas of the business. Making the time to catch-up with necessary team members to discuss the business plan ensures that everyone is still working towards the same goal.