Updating Your Business Plan
The only constant in life is that things change, and that includes how much working capital your small business may need.
It’s for this reason you should get in the habit of regularly updating your business plan to better reflect current circumstances and future goals. Put simply, you won’t really know whether you’ll need that merchant cash advance or equipment leasing contract if you’re unsure of where your business currently stands and where it’s going.
Perfecting your plans
Chances are you had a detailed business plan when you first entered the small business world. From marketing strategies to cash flow projections, you left no stone unturned.
The question now is: Does your original business plan still make sense? Many things can change in a short amount of time, and nowhere is this more true than in the small business world.
At the very least, revisiting your business plan on an annual basis is a sensible routine to develop. However, doing so on a quarterly basis can also be a good idea, as this way you’ll be more up to date on your financials.
Factors to consider
Your operations may have changed drastically over the course of a year. Or perhaps everything is still in line with your original business plan. Either way, some things will probably need to be updated. After all, plans are for the future, and unless you have a crystal ball, you likely got some things wrong.
First and foremost, think about what major changes you may need to make. These typically relate to pressing concerns like obtaining business funding, hiring new staff members, expanding inventory, moving premises and similar overhauls.
Next, think about what objectives you want to accomplish in the year ahead. Is your goal to double sales? Perhaps you want to cut costs. No matter your goals, updating your business plan is the ideal time to begin strategizing ways to meet them.
It’s also smart to take stock of the current market. Not only does this include the economy as a whole – employment data, spending projections – but circumstances in your specific industry. An updated market analysis will give you a better overview of what you can expect moving forward. Whether business conditions are good or bad, it will help you determine the best courses of action to keep your enterprise running along smoothly.