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.

Things you should know

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. As this information has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should, before acting on this, consider the appropriateness to your circumstances.