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Business Plan Resources :: Business Plan Maintenance
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
So how do you maintain your business plan? We have to first establish that without regular review -- monthly or at least quarterly review of your planned vs. actual results, with practical analysis of the reasons for variance -- planning is likely to be a waste of time.
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:
Maintaining Your Plan
The purpose of maintaining your plan is to use business results to guide your future decisions. The plan itself has no value if it doesn't help you improve business. That's regardless of how good or bad, how brilliant the ideas, writing, or how elaborate the tables and charts. Its value is the decisions it leads to.
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:
Source: Articles on bplans.com
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