5 Reasons Why Your Business Plan is No Good Anymore

We often espouse the benefits of having a business plan, and why you ought to write one no matter what shape your business is in. If you’ve already written your plan, you might think you’re ahead of the game. But if you haven’t looked at it in three months or more, then I promise that your business plan isn’t doing you any good.

Get it out. Read it. How is your business tacking? Are you still on your way to reaching the objectives you identified in the plan?

Here are five reasons your business plan isn’t adding any value:

1. You hired someone else to write it, and didn’t participate in the process.

Your plan might have been for the bank or an investor, and you hired a company like ours to write it. But if you weren’t consulted during the process, and you weren’t sure if the strategy on paper even matched the one in your head, chances are the plan is no longer aligned with your business (if it ever was in the first place).

2. It’s been 3 months or more since you read over your plan.

Your business plan needs to be revised as often as your business shifts in strategy or operations. According to Mike Michalowicz, that’s about every three months.

3. Your employees haven’t read your plan.

How are your staff supposed to help you implement your plan if they haven’t read it? Share your goals and objectives. Post them all over the office. Let them help you develop systems to get you to those goals. You can’t do it all by yourself.

4. You aren’t using the plan as a benchmark.

Have you compared your actual revenues and expenses to the ones forecast in your plan? Are you on the growth trajectory you predicted? If not, why not?

5. Your plan didn’t include enough research to back up your assumptions about the market or the industry you’re in.

I see this all the time in business plans that are supposedly complete. The market analysis discusses how demand is increasing, but doesn’t provide any sources to prove it. Or, it doesn’t adequately assess competition, ignoring the threat of rivalry and the threat of new entrants. Don’t pull wool over your own eyes. Make sure your assumptions are based on some real data.

Does your business plan need a facelift? We’d love to read about your challenges and successes below.