A business plan is typically the starting line for a business venture. Once the business is up and running and the business model is working well, it often gets filed away, permanently. Financial metrics like cash flow, revenue targets and margin analysis dominate the focus of planning. But these perfectly fine operational targets fall short of fueling new levels of growth. To really propel your entity to the next level, you must dust off your business plan, renew it with new strategic focus and prepare to share it.
Here are three ways to use your updated plan to achieve a new level of business growth.
You have a great team, you love what they bring to your business, but you know they can do more to help you grow if they were all focused on a common goal. You have planning meetings, and they are great for problem-solving, but fail to accelerate growth. Even when you bring on new talent that naturally starts to inspire your team, within a few months they too lose their spark.
Perfect! Update your business plan with your current thinking and organize an extended planning retreat to share your plan with your team. Engage all their talents, experience and insights to embellish your business plan and ignite a new energy to executing it. You will spark just the fuel in all of you to drive new levels of performance.
You are doing well, but you see others creating new partnerships to expand and wonder, could I do that?
Absolutely! Again, update your plan, then share it with a few select advisors to get their input. Use their input to set criteria for ideal partners, make a business development presentation from your plan and start the process of reaching out to your list of potential partnering companies. Use your business plan to make a winning case for consideration and drive a new joint venture to spur growth for you both. Your business plan help guide how to set your criteria and clarify how to build a compelling win/win scenario for your partnering pitch. A well thought out plan will position you as a leader and set the tone for a positive partnership.
At times we all need an influsion of cash to take things to the next level. Usually the investment need to take an exisiting business to a new level is very different than the case made with your initial business plan. So, once again, updating your business plan is your GO TO for getting started.
It doesn't matter if it is making a decision to use your own assets for this investment or if you need to win an investment decision from an investment firm. You will need to do the thinking (and the math) to make your case. This time take a more sophisticated approach and do your research. The post recession climate has produced many alternative funding sources. Make sure your plan has a mix of funding strategies and demonstrate that with the right combination of funding sources your compelling growth plan is just the right ticket for a return on investment. Your business plan is the tool to pull all this great new thinking together.
You should be reviewing your business plan annually roughly three months before your annual budgets are due. Pull it out and start reviewing it to update your perspective on your market focus, your market dynamics and strategic thinking for taking your organization to the next level.
Don’t know how to write a business plan? Purchase our Entrepreneur's and Small Business Strategic Focus planning bundle. The workbook includes a business plan outline so you can get started building your plan right away.
If you struggle with it or are unsatisfied with what you have put together, we can help.