Start the year off right by reviewing your business plan

Small Business

Many people embrace the new year through resolutions. Perhaps on the top of your list is establishing healthier eating habits or learning a new skill each month. For business owners, this is a timely season to enhance processes and strategies by reviewing business plans, which act as roadmaps.

Business plans can be used to attract new partnerships, manage projects, and secure funding. Business owners should also reevaluate marketing strategies and financial projections. In addition, this is an opportunity to clearly identify action plans for short- and long-term goals.

Many business plans are several pages long, and examining every single section may not be the best use of your time. However, components of your plan that should always be reviewed thoroughly include the executive summary, market analysis, sales strategy, overview of products or services, and financial projections.

Here are some questions to consider as go over your business plan:

  1. Do I have a well-defined purpose for my business?
  2. What major events in the past year have changed how I market and sell my product and/or service?
  3. Have my products and/or services changed since my last review?
  4. Has my target market changed? If so, how do I reach my new customers?
  5. Have there been any major personnel changes in my business since my last review?
  6. Am I hitting my financial projections? If not, why?

How often you should review your business plan depends on the timeline of your goals. For example, newer businesses may have more short-term goals that may require quarterly reviews. If you own a more established business, you may only need to review your business plan yearly. Evaluating your plan is necessary whenever major changes to your business or industry occur, including leadership changes, significant revenue decreases, or adopting new technologies.

A new year brings new challenges and opportunities. Reviewing your business plan is an important step to recalibrating your compass to make sure your business starts the year with its best foot forward.