Keep your business plan up-to-date. This is your action plan so make sure that you keep it up to date. If you change direction or goals, your plan should change also. More often than not, a business owner will spend a lot of time and effort writing a business plan when the pressure is on to borrow funds or to get a business started. The intention is there to always keep the plan up-to-date. But before long, things get hectic and the business plan is put in a drawer, never again to be seen. There is an old saying that “the business that operates by the seat of its pants will end up with torn pants.” Make sure that your business doesn’t fall into this trap.
Monitor your business plan.
Another trap that many businesses fall into is failure to monitor their business plan. Since changes are constantly taking place both inside and outside of your business, your business plan can serve as a useful tool for seeing how you are doing. That is assuming it is up to date. To make certain that it is, you, as the owner, must be aware of the changes that are occurring not only in your business, but also in your industry, your market, and your community.
Two important areas to note are changes originating with the customer such as customer preferences, trends, ages, interests, etc., and changes in technology. Once you have researched these areas, be sure to revise your business plan accordingly.
Use your business plan to communicate both inside and outside your business.
Many businesses view a business plan as an external document used to raise outside capital. This is only half of the picture. Your business plan can also be one of the primary tools used inside of your business to communicate with your employees and to keep everyone focused and on the same wavelength. Make sure you tell your employees about the goals outlined in your business plan along with what you expect of them in reaching those goals.
People who are let in on the goals of the company feel like they are a part of making the goals happen.
The result should be higher productivity, motivation, and satisfaction.
Don’t let “activity” become the goal. Competent management planning means making things happen, not just watching things happen or reacting to what has happened. We often lose sight of the purpose of the activity, and the activity becomes the goal – an end in itself. Don’t let this happen to you.