5 Actionable Tips for Improving Your Business Plan

Wednesday, December 19, 2018, 6:00 PM | Leave Comment

Whether you’re an existing small startup company or a big company looking to improve its business and perhaps even expand – you need a killer, foolproof business plan.

Perhaps you have already written one, but as every project proposal writer will tell you – all business plans are wrong.

They are wrong the minute you finish them. This is for two simple reasons.

First, you’re human, and humans make mistakes.

Second, plans predict the future, and we are not clairvoyant.

However, all is not lost. If your first business plan has failed you, dust yourself off and try again. But, before you do, arm yourself with all the vital and actionable information that will help you succeed the next time.

The risk of failure is always there, but with a few improvements, you’ll have a way better shot.

5 Actionable Tips for Improving Your Business Plan
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  1. Be realistic

    Your internal business plan doesn’t have to be brilliantly written. It needs to be understood by the people in your team, meaning it can even be comprised of bullet points.

    However, what most plans fail to include are assumptions. It’s vital to include assumptions and test plans; although this may sound negative, listing all the flaws in your plan, assuming why your product won’t sell or why your company may not strive, can help you create a plan to test these negative assumptions.

    By doing so, you’ll be able to do more than just make alterations in your business plan – by steering your strategy in a different direction, you’ll give your company the chance to survive and thrive.

  2. Keep it measurable

    The core of every good business plan includes the following: tasks, deadlines, dates, forecasts, budgets, and metrics. These are the components that make it measurable.

    Reason: this gives you the chance to follow your progress, verify whether the plan has been followed or not, and whether it delivered the exact or at least approximate results as written on the paper.

    If not – back to the drawing board with new deadlines, dates, budgets, etc.

  3. Seek help

    Let’s take Hong Kong for instance. It’s the city of booming companies that follow good business practices and are constantly rising and achieving one goal after another. This doesn’t happen because of dumb luck – it happens thanks to great management consulting, responsible investments and paying close attention to ESG reporting.

    There’s nothing wrong with bringing in a third party, in fact, it’s desirable to get help from som as an important indicator of healthy corporate performance.

    Someone who is an expert and who is unbiased to help your business not just keep its head above the water but achieve all the goals you have set out to achieve.

    An expert can help you in each and every aspect from general and financial management to production and marketing management, and even take a look at your human resources.

    A true expert can whip your company into shape and completely alter the way you do business and almost ensure you get all the desired results and perhaps even more than you bargained for.

  4. Determine who does what

    Even the best, and by this we mean truly the best business plan, will fail if there is a lack of communication within your team.

    As Harvard Review points out “list the people on the team, list the skills required, and talk to each team member about her own skill set before you match people to tasks.”

    If the plan is to be executed and result in success, you need the right people for each of the tasks. Therefore, it is your duty, as the person in charge, to delegate smartly, as this is what gets the job done – if a task doesn’t have an ‘owner’ it is unlikely that it will be done at all, let alone executed well.

  5. Keep it alive

    You have the business plan, and now you’ve left it alone. Big mistake. As said, we are not clairvoyant, and things change as we go.

    Therefore, a constant follow-up of the tasks which are either accomplished or not is vital. It gives you the crucial information of what needs to be altered in your plan, and if a change of course is needed.

    A business plan is not written in stone, it’s highly flexible and should constantly be altered and modified to fit the current progress and improve what’s lacking.

You can’t predict the future and simply follow that prediction. Alteration, review and course correction are crucial. That is why a plan is written on paper – so it can be changed.

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