Writing a business plan is one of the first things many businesses do. It can help clarify your vision and strategy.
Over time, as you find what does and doesn’t work for your business, it’s worth updating your plan. This will help you to reflect on what you’ve learned and plot the best way forward.
1. Update your finances
Enter your financial figures in your existing business plan. Update your cash flow statement and budget with your actual results. This should help you get an understanding of where you’re actually spending money and the return it’s bringing. You’ll also get an overview of any assets and liabilities.
2. Reconsider your vision
Consider how your business has evolved. What goals have you achieved and what do you still want and need to work towards? Is your vision statement still relevant and inspiring, or has your mindset shifted?
3. Think about your structure
Is your business structure still working for you as the most efficient way to run your business? If you are operating as a sole trader, you might consider taking on a partner, or becoming a company.
4. Check out your competitors
What are the key changes in your industry and your competitors? If a competitor has found a new way to sell online or is offering a product at a significant price difference, this may impact your own results.
5. Do some market research
Reach out to your customers and suppliers for information. Surveys, market research and speaking to people in the business can inform your next steps regarding what is helping your business and anything that might be holding you back.
6. Evaluate your activities
Think about the activities that are the most successful for you and consider whether there are some that you can outsource or stop doing. Asking for feedback from your business community, such as a mentor or network, may help you identify areas to strengthen.
7. Seek feedback
Once you’ve updated your business plan, consider presenting it to your staff or business partners for feedback. Sharing your vision can inspire others and help them to understand the positive role they can play in making the business better.