As you know, here at cbm we’re all about business plans. We believe that having a strong business plan is the key to running a successful business. But writing the business plan is only half the battle – your next step is to put it into action. What a mammoth task! Your business plan itself should help you make sure you don’t lose your way when starting your business, but how do you make sure you don’t stray from your plan?
Business plans can be daunting enough without setting yourself goals that are impossible to reach. Nothing is going to put you off taking action faster than seeing targets you know you’re never going to hit. When you’re writing your business plan, set yourself realistic, incremental targets that all add up towards helping you reach your goals. Think short-term as well as long-term – what do you want to achieve in a month, a quarter, a year, five years? How do each of these milestones contribute to your ultimate goal?
As we have mentioned many times before, a business plan isn’t a document that you should write, put in your drawer and then forget about. Check in with your business plan regularly to make sure you haven’t deviated from it. Consider your goals and think about the small, practical steps you can take each week and month to meet those goals. What do you spend your time doing currently, and are those activities relevant to your goals? Finally, look at your business plan critically and ask yourself if it’s still working for you, as per our final point:
One way to ensure you stick to your business plan is to remember that you can change it as you progress. There is no point in sticking to your business plan if it clearly isn’t working. So change it up. It may be that new competition has moved to the area since you wrote your plan and you need a new strategy or different USPs to remain competitive. Maybe you want to try targeting a different audience, or try a new marketing strategy. Or your personal circumstances may have changed so you can’t spend as much time on the business as you originally planned and you need to get a little outside help. There is nothing wrong with changing direction if it’s for a good reason – it’s far better to identify problems and adjust to accommodate fixes, than it is to blindly carry on regardless.
If you would like some help with writing a business plan you can stick to and use as a springboard for your success, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us using the form on the right or call 01604 420 420.