A business plan is not something you write and then toss in a drawer. It’s an ongoing blueprint of what you want to accomplish and how you plan to get there. But your goals for your business and the climate you operate in will change. So your plan will need to be adjusted accordingly. Here are just a few of the reasons that you may have for keeping your plan up to date.
1. The most obvious reason for updating your plan is that the market is changing. Possibly some new opportunities for you to sell your products have materialized. Maybe you’ve reached your original goals faster than you thought would be possible and new goals need to be established. Or you’ve found that your original goals did not reflect current market conditions accurately enough. Either way you need to make some changes.
2. You’ve got a new product that will have a dramatic effect on your business. Your current plan might not take the new product into account. And the new product might have an effect on the results your business is going to be able to achieve. Again it’s time to update your plan.
3. You’re about to approach your bank or investors about borrowing money. Because they have a financial decision to make they are going to want to see an updated plan. An outdated plan on the part of the borrower is not going to help convince the people that control the purse strings to loan you money.
4. You’ve recently overhauled your management team. Because you now have new people in charge your plan needs to reflect that. And you need to make sure that everyone on your team is on the same page. Your business plan wasn’t written just for you it was written for your company and all of its key people.
5. The new fiscal year is about to role around. This means it is time to set some new goals for your business. Keeping your financial objectives up to date is important to your business.
6. And of course one of the best reasons of all is that you may have passed a financial benchmark such as a million dollars in sales for the year. Or there has been some other significant event that has recently happened to your company. A major event is always cause for getting your plan up to date.
Remember your plan needs to be updated regularly if it is to be of any use to you. These are just some of the more significant events that may happen to your business which should give you a reason for updating it. Of course it really is a good idea to actually update it on a quarterly basis regardless of whether one of these events has occurred or not. Remember your business plan won’t be able to help you if it doesn’t reflect your current situation.