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Business Plan and Start Up Newsletter Issue #1022-Business Plan Maintenance
September 08, 2005
Business Plan Pro... Everything banks; lenders and the SBA look for! Produce your business plan quickly and easily... For entrepreneurs and small-business owners. Business Plan Pro 2005
Business Plan Maintenance
How Can We Help You Write Your Business Plan?
Top Ten Reasons To Create A One Page Business Plan
A Few Cool Helpful Notes
A business plan is not a one-time document, at least it shouldn't be. Most businesses put together a business plan during their start-up phase to organize, attract partners and employees, and to try and get a loan or financial investment. This is a great use of a business plan, however far too often once the company has started up the plan isn't touched again.
Ultimately, a business plan is about results, about making your business better. If you don't think doing a business plan will improve your business, then don't do one. Planning for planning's sake is a waste of time.
Where a plan is most likely to make your business better is by allowing you to:
Reviewing Your Plan
Real planning requires regular reviews just as much as navigation requires knowing where you are as well as where you were and where you wanted to go.
Every real plan needs to be full of specific dates, budgets, forecasts, and management responsibilities. People involved have to know there will be tracking and following up on specifics. Then that plan must be reviewed against results, and those reviews should produce course corrections and fine tuning.
Generally a business hopes for a consistent long-term strategy built on short-step incremental changes, not major revisions. Consistency is important to strategy, and the business should avoid the temptation to jump around from one strategy to another so quickly that no strategy is ever really implemented. Remember that even a mediocre strategy well and consistently implemented is much better than a brilliant strategy that wasn't implemented.
However, businesses do come to crossroads demanding major revisions in their business plan. These are some signs that indicate its time to review your plan:
Always keep the revision in perspective. While you do want to review and correct constantly, you don't want to change a strategy unless you are sure it isn't working or you see real changes in the underlying assumptions that formed the foundations of strategy.
Maintaining Your Plan
That means, of course, that to make a plan worth the effort of developing it, you'll want to follow it up. Whether that's every month or every quarter, you need to track results, analyze the difference between plan and actual results, and manage. Change things that need to be changed. Compare what you planned to what happened in reality. Ask yourself the following questions:
After you've answered these questions, update your plan accordingly, set new budgets and milestones, adjust your financials, and repeat the process with another review of your plan again next month or next quarter. Update your plan accordingly again, and keep repeating. You'll find that maintaining your business plan gives you a better grasp on your business, your market, and everything else that happens with your company.
So I have written a manual that will help you with writing your business plan.
This manual is intended to aid you in the preparation and the writing of your business plan for your business.
The first part of it is written to help you write your business plan. There is plenty of note space for you to take notes as you move through it. You can also take additional notes on other paper as needed.
You should write your business plan as you go through this manual. Or, you can go to the Quick Start... Business Plan Work Shop.
This section is written for those of you that want to write a quick little business plan in a speedy amount of time.
This section also includes some worksheets in a printable form. You can use these worksheets to help you figure out some of the financial information that your business will need to complete.
For More Information about; How To Write A Business Plan... Made Easy
1. Choose opportunities more wisely and waste less time because I have my plan in place (P 6)
2. A single page can contain all the elements you need to tell your employees, board of directors, potential partners or banker where you are taking your business and how you are going to get there. (P 17)
3. The most important reason to have a business plan is to clarify your thinking, regardless of the size of your company (P 18)
4. It facilitates creating and analytical thinking, problem solving, communication, and teamwork. (P 18)
5. It creates hope and enthusiasm about the future. (P 18)
6. It also brings out procrastination, frustration, differences of opinions and possibly anger. (P 18)
7. Somehow writing initiates the transformation from idea to reality. (P 21)
8. The written word produces a contract with yourself that results in immediate action. (P 21)
9. Writing allows others to participate in your dream and give you feedback (P 21)
10. Because your coach, consultant, business builder strategist, friend, relative tells you that one of the top reasons businesses fail is a lack of planning! That's why!
Quotes 1-9 are from the One Page Business Plan Book, by Jim Horan. For more information on the One Page Business Plan, visit http://www.coachmaria.com/events/onepage.html.
About The Author
Elevating Your Business. Since 1998, Maria Marsala, a former Wall Street Trader, has worked more than 1000 women (and men) who own service business to increase their profits, save time, and live rich, fulfilling lives. Visit www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com to request your 2 business reports and join our business building newsletter or forum.
Business Plan Pro
Business Plan Pro 2005 includes:
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