Perhaps you haven’t put together a formal business plan yet or maybe you prefer to call it your vision board but regardless, if you are in business, no matter what type of business, you need to review how you are running it now!
Maintaining a current business plan is about remaining relevant and this means evolving your business accordingly. To evolve supports you to succeed.
Of course, we will all have our original blueprint. The first vision we had for our businesses – no matter what it looks like. But once we launch and start practicing in the ‘real world’ of business, plans will need to be reviewed. Goals change over time. The environment you operate will change. You need to be adaptable to market trends, consumer behaviours, regulation or laws affecting your business, technology and the industry or sector you work.
Reviewing your business plan gives you an opportunity to become more focused. And it doesn’t have to be boring. No doubt you will have learned something about your business in the time you have been operating it and this gives you poetic license to get creative, be flexible and grow from a place of experience.
Evaluation is about keeping your finger on the pulse of your operations. While big change is a perfect time to revisit goals and strategies, you can take a leaf out of some of the bigger corporate companies and strategically review your business plan every 3 – 6 months. Frequent review allows you to make adjustments to your business thwarting forced change when you least expect it. At the very least you should be reviewing annually, giving you confirmation of your path and allowing you to adapt as necessary.
The key areas for examination should include:
- Your goals and objectives – this should include long term and short term
- Who is your audience and how will you continue to communicate with them – has it changed? What is the latest trends in market communication and technology?
- Noting if you are getting return on investment with your marketing channels – are your optimizing all channels effectively and are they worth the expense?
- Look at your SWOT – what new competition is there? Is there any new opportunities? Are you capitalizing on your strengths and how are you addressing your weaknesses?
- Revisit your values – have they changed personally and in business? Do they align? Does your branding match your values?
You can easily perform your own business plan analysis but sometimes it is helpful to have someone external conduct a review. And remember it is never too late to write a business plan, if you don’t have one.
To learn more about my five step business plan checkup visit my website and subscribe to my mailing list. Alternatively contact me for support with putting together a meaningful business plan and marketing strategy or with help reviewing your current plan.