Friday, July 12, 2013

You Have Business Plans, Now What?

Everyone starting a business was told at one point to create a business plan.  You read about, applied your knowledge and created the rough draft.  It was tweaked and fine-tuned to perfection, and now you're ready to implement your strategy.  As you get underway, sometimes plans written on paper doesn't work the way you envisioned.  The plan may look good on paper, but isn't good on execution.  Delays or distractions can steer you away from following the plan step by step.  You may discover another strategy that works better than what's written down.  Life happens, and companies must learn how to make lemonade out of lemons.

Many business men and women have a plan, but never look at it.  How will you know if the business plan is going according to plan if you don't look at it?  Review the plan based on how well the business is going.  It should be reviewed no later than yearly, but there are exceptions.  Companies with business expansions, targeting new markets, introducing new products and cash flow problems need to look at the plan monthly or quarterly.

Business plans come with a marketing plan.  The marketing plan gives you detailed marketing strategies to make your business plan a reality.  Both are necessary, and both must be reviewed together to compare what written to the current state of the business.  If one plan needs work, the other plan needs adjustments too to stay on track.  You can't have one without the other.

If your business plan involves tracking revenue, have a system in place to track it often.  Control and monitor the process weekly or monthly.  See how it’s faring with your plan.  Track the target market, your competitors and revenue projections.  Keep a file of this information for comparison.  If anything is under performing to where it completely misses the mark it's time to make adjustments.

Businesses change and grow, and as companies move forward the strategies in business plans don't work, outdated or not effective as it once was.  The good news is that business plans are not set in stone.  They can be adjusted to the current situation.  Revise the plan in the same one-year, three-year and five-year guidelines you were taught to do.  Use what works in the past to anticipate future performance.

Business plans are a guide for businesses to steer their dream into a reality.  Pitfalls are bound to happen, even to the best of us, and we have to change with the times.  Doing this not only creates flexibility but it is imperative for company growth and success.  Contactus for more information on business plans, strategies and assistance with your company.

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