Planning is key to any business throughout its existence. Every successful business regularly reviews its business plan to ensure it continues to meet its needs. It's sensible to review current performance on a regular basis and identify the most likely strategies for growth. &
Once you've reviewed your progress and identified the key growth areas that you want to target, it's time to revisit your business plan and make it a road map to the next stages for your business.
This guide will show how you can turn your business plan from a static document into a dynamic template that will help your business both survive and thrive.
The importance of ongoing business planning
What your business plan should include
Drawing up a more sophisticated business plan
Plan and allocate resources effectively
Use targets to implement your business plan
When and how to review your business plan
THE IMPORTANCE OF ONGOING BUSINESS PLANNING
Most potential investors will want to see a business plan before they consider funding your business. Although many businesses are tempted to use their business plans solely for this purpose, a good plan should set the course of a business over its lifespan.
A business plan plays a key role in allocating resources throughout a business. It is a tool that can help you attract new funds or that you can use as a strategy document. A good business plan reveals how you would use the bank loan or investment you are asking for.
Ongoing business planning means that you can monitor whether you are achieving your business objectives. A business plan can be used as a tool to identify where you are now and in which direction you wish your business to grow. A business plan will also ensure that you meet certain key targets and manage business priorities.
You can maximise your chances of success by adopting a continuous and regular business planning cycle that keeps the plan up-to-date. This should include regular business planning meetings which involve key people from the business.
To find out more, see our guides on how to review your business performance and how to assess your options for growth.
If you regularly assess your performance against the plans and targets you have set, you are more likely to meet your objectives. It can also signpost where and why you're going astray. Many businesses choose to assess progress every three or six months.
The assessment will also help you in discussions with banks, investors and even potential buyers of your business. Regular review is a good vehicle for showing direction and commitment to employees, customers and suppliers.
Defining your business' purpose in your business plan keeps you focused, inspires your employees and attracts customers.