In a previous blog we talked about SMART business planning, and how it is important to know your business and know where you want to take it.
It is also important to regularly review your business plan, to make sure you are meeting your objectives. If something has changed, will it affect your objectives? How can you change your plans to make sure you reach your targets?
Now that we are getting nearer to the end of the year, it’s a good time to review your business achievements so far. You can use this review to help you start planning for the year ahead. Don’t wait for the New Year to start, think about where you want to be this time next year and how you can achieve this, business planning is an ongoing process.
So what are the key things you should be asking yourself?
- What has changed in the last 6-12 months and has your business changed with it?
- Has this been a positive or negative change?
- Has your target market changed, how have you adapted to this?
- What opportunities are there for you to expand/change your target market?
- Is there an opportunity for a new product or service?
- Do you need to review your internal business structure?
- Do you need more staff to adapt to the changes?
- What is your financial situation – are you within your budget?
By answering these basic questions above you should have some ideas of where you need to adapt your strategy. By taking an overview of your business, the products/services that it currently offers and their success, you should also review your competition and see how they have also changed or adapted over the last 12 months.
Review your Objectives
Take a look at the objectives you set at the start of the year, are they still relevant and have you achieved them? This is an opportunity to update your objectives- don’t forget to keep them SMART!
If you have taken a review of your business and feel confident in where you want to take it, the next step is the tools you are going to use along the way to achieve this. What new opportunities have developed over the last 6-12 months? Is there a new platform/outlet where you can sell your product or service? What are the latest trends, do they present an opportunity for you to promote your business?
This blog is a quick reminder on how important it is to keep on top of your business planning. It is not something you do once a year it is something that you should be constantly reviewing, but keeping it as a living document that adapts to change. Just because you need to change it does not mean it was wrong, but being able to change it shows that your business can easily adapt to make it more sustainable.
One thing we have learnt over the last 18 months is that businesses that have seen the opportunity to adapt to the online world of business have been able to review their business plans quite quickly. Enabling them to either continue to reach their current market, or expand to a whole new target market that they did not reach before.