Creating a business plan is just the beginning. Once you have it you need to use it to achieve the outcomes you desire for your business.

Here are some of the best ways to ensure business owners make the most of your business plan.

Consider your audience

When you write your business plan keep the language clear and simple, while considering the audience you are writing for.

This audience might include staff members, investors, financial institutions or potential buyers.

Keep these people in mind, as you complete each section of the plan, factoring in exactly what they need to know.

Communicate it to your staff

Your business plan is the document that guides the future of your business, and your staff are your partners on this journey.

Do communicate the key elements of your business plan with your staff.

This doesn’t mean offering up the document in full, but instead ensuring they are aware of key sections including the operations plan, risk management, personnel plan and particularly your action plan.

Plan for growth

The key function of a business plan is to ensure your enterprise is viable into the future. Once your business has become established, that often involves assessing risks, further defining business goals and planning for growth.

Your business plan should be used to outline these growth strategies, including resources required, actions that need to be taken and the financial implications.

Have it handy

Your business plan is not a document that should languish in a desk drawer or sit, gathering dust, on a shelf.

It is a living document that should be referred to and updated often.

Have your plan handy and refer to it when setting goals, implementing new strategies or when you are making business decisions.

Keep it updated

A business plan works best when you revisit it regularly and revise it accordingly. Then and only then is it a tool that can be set to work to chart continuous improvement and growth.

As a minimum you should look at your business plan once a year. However, some highly successful businesses also work in 90-day or quarterly sprints where goals are clearly set out and achieved in line with their business plan.

Respond to change

As I’ve mentioned, a business plan is a living document, and it offers immense power when you use it to anticipate and respond to change.

This happens through identifying strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats and the action plan you will implement to manage these.

It’s important to note, even during the period when your business doesn’t change, factors outside it might – whether that’s the economic landscape, new competitors, supply issues or other elements that might be beyond your control.

When you identify these in your business plan, you are in a position to manage whatever comes your way.

You can learn more about the importance of creating a business plan here, or download my business plan template here.

Let's Talk About Your Business

I work with business owners and their teams to grow their business and achieve goals through strategic coaching and mentoring services. Looking for something more from your business or just a little clarity, take a moment to book a call with me, and let’s talk about your business.