Reviewing your business plan is a good way of checking if you are still on track. It gives you an idea of what is working and what is not, and if need be, to adjust it accordingly. But how often do you need to do a review?
An annual business plan review might be enough for some companies, but is it enough for yours?
If you start experiencing problems in your business environment, you may need to consider reviewing your business plan. This can be a challenge in itself and, for some, a not-so-good experience.
For both new and seasoned entrepreneurs, reviewing means the possibility of scrapping the whole plan or doing a complete overhaul. It gives the feeling of starting all over again which can really take a toll on your morale. This also means more time and resources will have to be spent to come up with a new plan.
There is no need to worry, though. Reviewing, depending on the situation, does not always mean a complete overhaul. Most of the time, you just need to do minor adjustments. So, going back to the initial question: How often do you need to review your business plan? What are the signs that you need to watch out for?
Sales are on a downward trend
If you see an unexpected drop in your overall sales revenue or your sales figures are not meeting your expectations, diagnose the problem as soon as possible.
Maybe there is a disconnect between what you are offering and what your customers actually want. It might be that your products and services are not up to par with your customers’ standards. Maybe the problem is with your marketing or even your customer service. Or quite simply, maybe your competitors are just doing a much better job.
Whatever the reason is, this is an obvious sign to gather your team and review your current business plan. Once the problem is identified, revise or tweak your plan to support your expected results.
A competitor copied you
They say that imitation is a form of flattery. That may be true, but in the world of business, it can cost you your company and your team’s livelihood.
If you see a competitor copying a product which you already have patents or copyrights to, you may need to seek legal advice and review your business plans.
You need to check if it is economically feasible to go after the perpetrators. Expect to rack up legal expenses as well as a possible decline in revenues due to increased competition. Review your current plan to see if your business can handle the negative effects caused by the situation.
By James Short, consultant
Emma Ryan is the deputy head of editorial at Momentum Media.
Emma has worked for Momentum Media since 2015, and has since been responsible for breaking some of the biggest stories in corporate Australia, including across the legal, mortgages, real estate and wealth industries. In addition, Emma has launched several additional sub-brands and events, driven by a passion to deliver quality and timely content to audiences through multiple platforms.
Email Emma on: [email protected]