The business plan is the foundation for any business. The operations and steps that follow this strategic plan helps the business build upon its specified goals and objectives. Creating a weak or ambiguous business plan can result in costly mistakes or business struggles that could have been avoided. Here are some common problems that business owners have in regards to their business plan and how to fix these problems.
1. It’s Nonexistent- If you haven’t taken the time to write a business plan for the strategic growth of your company it is never too late to begin.
How to Fix IT: Start writing your business plan today with a fresh plan on where you company is and where you want to take it. Utilize the SBDC downloadable business plan templates to outline your strategic plan and projected future profits.
(Go to http://www.winthropregionalsbdc.org/html/sbdc_downloads.html for these templates)
2. It’s Ginormous and Therefore Useless-Your business plan does not have to be 40 plus pages. The need for a business plan to be all inclusive rarely applies to small businesses unless you are seeking funding from investors. Having an enormous document can be overwhelming and you may never actually take the time to review it.
How to Fix It: Try creating a simpler plan. You may be the only person who reads your plan, but you want it to be readable and comprehensible. So stick to the basics and don’t strive for length. Just get to the point.
3. You Never Look at It- You may have developed a great plan 5 years ago, but it is very likely that goals, products or other offerings have changed since then. Generally, a business plan should be a living, working document that you regularly review and modify as needed.
How to Fix It: Take a look at your existing business plan and its structure. You are likely to see areas that need to be reflected upon and adjusted. Try to review your business plan 2-4 times a year.
4. It’s Not Actionable- Maybe you have filled your business plan with fluff or established long-term goals with no measurable steps to accomplish them. Although you have your plan and take the time to read it, you don’t have a clue about what to do next.
How to Fix It: Amend your plan with action items that set up steps for how you can make your goal a reality. These steps need to be achievable and measurable so that the next time you review your strategic plan, you can see how far (or not) you have come toward achieving those goals.
Note: This information was obtained from a Small Business Trends article, “How to Fix What’s Wrong With Your Business Plan – You Have One, Right?” To read the full article refer to the following link: http://smallbiztrends.com/2014/09/whats-wrong-with-your-business-plan.html?tr=sm