Why Business Planning Isn’t Just for Start-ups
A business plan is often associated with new business, a document prepared during the start-up phase to assess the viability of a business or to support finance applications. What is often overlooked however, is that a regularly updated business plan can be an effective tool to use throughout the entire life cycle of a business.
Taking the time to update a business plan can allow you to consider new opportunities, risks or finance requirements that may not have existed at the inception of the business. This process can also assist in re-establishing key business strategies for long term success.
Think for a moment of what your original business plan detailed in terms of strategy or current market conditions. If you wrote your business plan even a year ago, chances are your current resources, market risks, competition and profitability are likely to have changed.
Whilst change is often the new constant, taking the time to understand how change is impacting your overall business strategy is a worthwhile investment in the long-term success of your business. This process could involve taking a fresh look at key areas of your business such as customers, potential new market segments and the impact of new technology, as well as investigating areas where you deviated from your last plan. Closely watching the difference between your business plan and actual results is a valuable exercise that can assist in making more informed decisions about your business.
Remember, nobody can see into the future, so a business plan is not likely to be 100% accurate to reality. However, continually keeping track of where you are now, where you want to be and mapping the road to get there can assist in keeping your business on track to meeting your strategic objectives.